MADRAS, OR -- A new sports facility could bring dramatic changes to Madras. Jim Weyermann took over as Executive Director of the Madras Aquatic Center Recreation District last fall. He's now in talks with an anonymous donor to fund development of a massive sports complex.
Weyermann tells KBND News, "The indoor facility is about 125,000 square feet, and then you'd add another 22,000 square feet for an Olympic-sized ice rink. And then there are some additional soccer fields, baseball, and softball fields that are being built, as well." The facility would be built to accommodate tournaments for soccer, basketball, volleyball, and badminton, but it won't just be for sports teams. "There's a whole other layer of kids who don't want to play in competitive leagues," he says, "So, this model is about how do we make sure that there's accessibility across the board."
Weyermann says the facility is needed to improve overall health, "The primary purpose is for Madras to begin providing traditional recreational services to the local community." He adds, "We battle with child obesity, we battle with nutrition, we battle with the right level of exercise and mental stimulation." If the facility is planned and developed properly, he says it could also boost the economy, "We have to take responsibility for developing facilities and activities that redefine who we are in the minds of the people who live here."
While he intends to develop the project without taxpayer dollars, Weyermann says getting the complex built doesn't end the financial need, "We've been spending a lot of time on the business pro forma, the sustainability model, how that's going to work and where we're going to generate our revenues, and how we're going to make sure that this thing operates profitably." If funding comes through, Weyermann wants to start the design phase in February, and hopes to break ground in summer. He says, realistically, the project could be finished by late 2020.