Ladenburg wants $28 million Sprinker Center revamp

Pierce County Executive John W. Ladenburg says the popular, 32-year-old Sprinker Recreation Center needs a major overhaul to continue serving tens of thousands of young people and adults. He proposes a $28 million renovation program to start at the earliest possible time and to be financed by a 20-year revenue bond issue.
“Pierce County has spent more on parks since 2001 than the previous 40 years combined,” Ladenburg said. “Renovation of Sprinker Recreation Center is overdue, and the facility’s condition is unacceptable. It’s time to direct some much-needed resources to one of our most popular recreation sites.”
With County Council approval, the $28 million bond issue’s debt service would be paid from a combination of real estate excise and sales taxes earmarked for parks. Pierce County voters approved a one-tenth-of-a-cent sales tax increase in November 2000 for Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, Northwest Trek Wildlife Park and parks. In 2001 the council approved a real estate excise tax (called 2nd REET) that directs 25 percent of the proceeds to parks and the remainder to road construction.
The renovation program when completed would provide a new community center with increased public use opportunities. According to Parks and Recreation Director Kathy Kravit-Smith, it would enable the department to provide enhanced community programs and a more efficient operation.
Sprinker provided services for more than 300,000 participants in 2007 for such activities as ice skating, hockey, youth sports including baseball, softball, football and basketball, rock climbing, skateboarding, lessons, classes and special events such as the annual Northwest Cars and Trucks Show and the Reflections on Ice Show. An additional 130,000 visited the center as spectators.
PBK Architects Inc., the Parks and Recreation Department’s consultant for the renovation project, said the project would cover 90,071 square feet and include the facility’s ground floor including the ice rink, racquetball courts, tennis locker rooms and public viewing gallery. The latter would include the addition of 150 seats.
The lobby entrance would be expanded for improved public skate sessions with larger special events. The refrigeration room, Zamboni room and storage areas also would be expanded.
New additions would include a multi-purpose meeting room, community room with kitchen, four dressing rooms for hockey programs and new second-floor restrooms.
The ice rink would be moved 5 feet and the corners changed for improved public viewing and safety. Because of the rink’s new configuration and the additional gallery seating, the department would be able to hold “non ice” events such as recreation classes, concerts, conferences, community events and exhibitions. The expanded programming would provide increased revenue.
Several areas would be “reprogrammed” to improve functionality, including racquetball courts, facility control and administrative spaces and tennis locker rooms.