Spokane Journal of Business

Taking recreation to new heights

West Plains health complex to be completed in late ’18

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-—ALSC Architects PS
The city of Airway Heights plans to start work this fall on a $13 million, 35,000-square-foot recreation center, illustrated above. The complex is to include a fitness center, a natatorium, and a child care area.

The city of Airway Heights is set to begin construction this fall on its planned community recreation center.

Plans for the project, which is being funded through a $13 million bond approved by voters last August, call for the construction of a two-story, 35,000-square-foot facility. 

The center will be built at 11405 W. Deno Road, about a mile north of Northern Quest Resort & Casino.

JC Kennedy, director of parks, recreation, and community services with the city of Airway Heights, says the center will be a design-build project, with Spokane-based Lydig Construction Inc. serving as contractor, and ALSC Architects PS, also of Spokane, serving as architect.

“Because this is a design-build project, we’re able to decide on some of the design and submit that for planning and start of construction before the full, final design has been decided,” he says. “We’re currently in the design phase, which will likely continue through March.”

He says work is expected to start in September and to be completed in December of 2018.

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

“The child watch area is meant for mothers who’re interested in participating in exercise classes,” he says. “In future expansions, we might consider adding a day care option, and possibly bringing our early childhood education assistance program under the same roof.” 

Kennedy says the project also will include developing 7.5 acres of surrounding land into several multipurpose playing fields. 

“Our local school is Sunset Elementary, and once their facility is updated, they’ll be losing space previously dedicated to youth sports fields,” he says. “This space will help our area’s youth sports programs to continue with updated fields that can be used in a variety of ways.”

While a total cost of the project hasn’t been determined, Kennedy says the bond is expected to be able to cover the cost of the initial fitness center. 

“We’re working on additional capital fundraising efforts to supplement the bond, as well as support future expansions,” he says. “Within those fundraising efforts, we’re hoping to be able to offer some naming and sponsorship opportunities.”

Kennedy says the Airway Heights City Council has a larger vision for the facility and is seeking feedback from the community as to what citizens might like to see added later.

 “We want this to be an easy-to-navigate, welcoming space for everyone in the community, regardless of whether they hold a fitness membership,” he says. 

He adds, “Eventually we hope to include larger meeting rooms, as well as classroom spaces for students looking to complete their GEDs, or local businesses who’d like to host hiring workshops.”

LeAnn Bjerken
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Reporter LeAnn Bjerken is the most recent addition to the Journal's news team. A poet, cat lover and antique enthusiast, LeAnn is also an Eastern Washington University alum.

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