Archive for Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Survey says indoor pool a local want

February 7, 2012

The results are in and Tonganoxie residents have a consensus: they like services the Tonganoxie Recreation Commission offers and would like to have an indoor pool and other indoor facilities.

The TRC collected surveys in December and early January. With 106 people responding, or about 2 percent of the city population, assistant director Brad Eccles said the information was a starting point.

“Not exactly the turnout we wanted, but I feel as though we got a decent idea of what our participants especially want,” Eccles said. “We found out which facilities are used the most and which facilities people find important and what programs and facilities are valued.”

Research showed 97 percent of people who took the survey have used Chieftain Park during the last year. In addition, 88 percent have participated in a TRC program in the last year.

“They were very pleased with the swimming pool and swimming program,” Eccles said. “It had high marks as far as usage. People seemed very pleased with the amount of sports programs.”

Eccles noted survey participants also seemed pleased with the number of sports programs and would like to see after-school and summer camp programs.

“Water fitness programs is another desire,” Eccles said.

Eccles used the online survey service Survey Monkey to poll patrons. The surveys were available at various places in the community and were provided to anyone who was utilizing TRC programs and activities.

Though any plans for an indoor pool or other fitness facilities would be addressed well down the road, there appears to be an interest in such amenities.

“What I would just like to do is start opening the conversation, let it be known this is needed,” Eccles said. “It is something that needs to be planned for in the future.”

Now, there is open gymnasium night, but it’s offered once a week. It started in mid-January and is from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Thursdays. Visitors can play volleyball or basketball for $3 at Tonganoxie Middle School. The weekly open gym will conclude later this month.

TRC also uses the library on occasion.

“We’re pretty much maxed out on the ability to use those with all the school activities going on,” Eccles said.

The survey posed the question of, if given an additional $100, how would one allocate those funds. Eccles said the average response was nearly 50 percent toward development of new indoor facilities.

Areas for improvement were more restrooms, trail lighting, drinking fountains and playground equipment, according to survey results.

Also on surveyors’ wish lists: additional green space, whether it be additional parks in housing developments or another large park such as Chieftain and VFW parks.

“People definitely see the benefits of recreation in this community,” Eccles said. “They know about the health benefits but also helping to reduce crime and making Tonganoxie a more desirable place to live.”

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