Cleveland Park now top possibility for Cedar Rapids rec center - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Cleveland Park now top possibility for new Cedar Rapids rec center

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CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL) -

The Northwest Recreation Center Site Selection Task Force has moved Cleveland Park to top of their list of possible sites for the location of the new recreation center.

After a discussion of six possible sites, which included Harrison School, K-Mart West and the Ellis Park Maintenance Shop, Cleveland Park moved to the top of the list of possible sites for a replacement to the Time Check Recreation Center that was destroyed in the Floods of 2008.

The city had hoped to rebuild the rec center in Time Check Park, but FEMA denied the request to rebuild the center in the 100-year flood plain.  With the nation's flood insurance program running on a deficit, FEMA says it's time the nation stop building in risky 100-year flood plains.

So, with six alternative sites on the table, members of the group felt that Cleveland Park has the most potential since it sits outside of the flood plain, the city already owns the land and any demolition would come at a minimal cost. 

Members also feel that it provides the most benefit to neighbors by allowing them to create much needed parking and adding some needed security to the park at night.  Council members say they have heard complaints from neighbors in that area about too much on street parking and people in the park after 10:00 p.m.

The footprint of the new recreation center is expected to only take up a small portion of the park, leaving plenty of room for the estimated 20,000 people that use it annually.

If the site is chosen, the committee will look at temporary places for groups and programs that use Cleveland Park to go while construction is underway.

The committee plans to begin studies and holding neighborhood meetings in the very near future.

Some members hope that construction could begin sometime this year so that the park would only be out of use for one summer.

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