Local News
September 6, 2017

Initial estimate comes in at $2.5M for new gym in Rutland

By Alan J. Keays, VTDigger.org

RUTLAND – A city panel heard an initial cost estimate of $2.5 million for adding a gymnasium to its recreation building.
The results of a $6,000 feasibility and cost analysis by NBF Architects in Rutland of the gymnasium addition were presented to the Rutland Board of Aldermen’s recreation committee at a meeting Wednesday night, Aug. 30.

Recreation Superintendent Cindi Wight said the plans were only “conceptual” and more detailed work would need to be done to get a more exact estimate of the cost.

“You’d have to do a full engineer study,” she said.

The city wanted to know if it were possible to put a gym addition on the Courcelle Building, which houses the city’s recreation department, and if it were, how much would it cost, Wight said.

“This is just information only,” Wight said of the plans at the meeting. “I wanted everybody to see the work that NBF has done for it. It’s nice to know it’s feasible to do.”

The gym would feature a full-sized basketball court and bleachers, Wight said. When not in use for basketball the gym could be used for other activities, such as floor hockey, soccer or a racket sport called pickle ball.

If the city ever has a desire to move forward on such a project, Wight said, this study could serve as the starting point.
Wight is stepping down from her post as the city’s recreation superintendent. She was recently hired as the new director of the Burlington Parks, Recreation and Waterfront Department. The committee took no action after hearing the results of the gym study. Members did discuss some of the aspects of the plans.

The steel building for the gym would be 88 feet by 103 feet, according to the plans, not including additional space for the lobby, bathrooms and storage.

It would cost an additional $100,000 to add a sprinkler system, Wight said. The Courcelle Building currently is not required to have a sprinkler system. If the addition and the Courcelle Building were separated by a firewall, a sprinkler system would not be needed, she said, but a firewall between them would be required.

The Rutland Recreation and Parks Department does not have its own gym, Wight said. It relies on the use of school gyms as well as one in the Knights of Columbus building on Merchants Row, both as space and times allow.

“We have a great relationship with the schools,” Wight said, but added, “The school is so maxed out we are always struggling for space.”

She told the panel the city lacks a place for adults and youth to “drop-in” and play basketball or other indoor sports.
“It’s a missing piece,” Wight said.

Alderman Tom DePoy, committee chairman, said he recalled a former city recreation building that had a gym would attract 20 people a day for noontime pickup basketball games during the week. That facility closed in the mid-1990s.
The gym would not replace other facilities, such as the school system’s Keefe Gymnasium, where high school basketball games are played, Wight said.

Alderman William Notte, a committee member, did say if for some reason Keefe Gymnasium could not be used for a week or so, the recreation facility could serve as a possible backup location for games.

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