Spokane Journal of Business

Airway Heights recreation center work begins

Project previously delayed due to permitting, weather

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-—ALSC Architects PS
The two-story, 45,000-square-foot Airway Heights recreation center is expected to be completed in January 2019. Initially, the project was scheduled to be completed at year-end.

The city of Airway Heights had a ceremonial groundbreaking in November for the city’s new $17.25 million recreation center project, but delays in permitting and weather conditions held up the actual start of construction until earlier this month, the city’s J.C. Kennedy says.

“The building’s foundation has been poured and we’re just starting to get off the ground now,” says Kennedy, who is the city’s director of parks, recreation, and community services.  

The project is being constructed through a design-build contract with Spokane-based Lydig Construction Inc. serving as contractor, and ALSC Architects PS, also of Spokane, serving as architect.

The two-story, 45,000-square-foot recreation center is being constructed at 11405 W. Deno Road near the southwest corner of Deno and Hayford roads.

Although it initially was planned to be completed before year-end, Kennedy says the delays mean the building likely won’t be ready until January, at which point the city will still have to hire staff and set up operations.

“We’ve hired a consultant firm to complete an operations analysis for us, to make planning some of those things a bit easier,” he says.

Plans for the building include a first floor with a gymnasium, a child-watch area, and a natatorium featuring an indoor lap pool, recreation pool, hot tub, and sauna. The building’s second floor will include a fitness center with studio space for hosting group exercise classes, such as Pilates, yoga, karate, and spin.

Kennedy says the building originally was planned to be a 35,000-square-foot structure, but plans have evolved somewhat as the project has moved ahead.

“Part of it was that we decided to go with a pre-engineered metal building rather than a brick structure,” he says.

Kennedy says updates to the plans also included some changes to the second-floor fitness center space, dividing it into two areas, one dedicated to studio space and the other to free weights and training equipment.

“We determined some of the unused space on the second floor could be more fully developed into useful space,” he says. “It’s one of those things we felt was better to do now, rather than later.” 

The project also will involve developing 7.5 acres of surrounding land into several multipurpose playing fields.

Kennedy says the total cost of the project is about $17.25 million, which includes the cost of furniture, fixtures, and equipment, in addition to the $13.3 million construction cost. 

While most of the cost of the project will be funded through a $13 million bond approved by voters in August 2016, Kennedy says fundraising efforts to supplement the bond and support future expansions at the site are ongoing.

“The Airways Heights city council has dedicated $850,000 of its park reserve fund toward the project,” he says. 

“We also have $1 million in real estate excise tax funds toward the project, and a $194,000 grant award from the Department of Commerce to be used toward the outdoor field space.”

Kennedy adds that with the passage of the state capital budget earlier this year, the project also obtained a $500,000 grant to be used toward construction of the building.

“That leaves us with a $1.7 million gap in funding that we’re still working to close,” he says. “Fundraising is an ongoing process, but we feel there’s lots of promise.”

LeAnn Bjerken
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Reporter LeAnn Bjerken covers health care at the Journal of Business. A Minnesota native and cat lover, she enjoys beachside vacations and writing poetry. LeAnn has worked for the Journal since 2015.

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