As I suggested in a previous article, by all measure the new Indoor Recreation and Aquatics Facility should be developed at Lions Park.
Lions Park is centrally located, has suitable soils conditions, affords access to hotels and restaurants, is a six-minute drive from MAFB and is of sufficient size while still leaving ample buffers for the adjacent neighboring single-family homes.
The two sites previously considered, the much too small site at 10th Avenue North and 57th Street and the Siebel Soccer Field, had more cons than pros, as I pointed out in Forget The Carrot, Keep Your Eye On The Ball.
In my opinion, the site selection process has been flawed from the beginning and the only way to move forward on the project is to reevaluate the program and seek a more creative design approach that responds to a particular appropriate site.
Lions Park is located in a transitional zone between residential and commercial land uses and the architectural design for the facility should reflect, and reinforce that transitional zone.
A project at Lions Park should respect and enhance the existing environment of the park and not simply be of a transportable design that was developed in haste for a different site, or sites.
It is time to strongly consider the previous consultant selection process and solicit contextual design solutions that can benefit our community. And yes, community members should be represented in a new selection process, not just city employees.