City Formulating Plan for Expanding Youth Sports

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Amarillo’s focus on youth sports and activities is getting a boost.
 
The Amarillo School District is considering a partnership with the city that’ll help off-set the costs.
 
Earlier this year, city leaders identified the need for more youth activities and facilities.
 
The Parks and Rec Department set out to get the public’s input and now they’re in the process of formulating a plan to present to the city council.
 
The city has been getting ideas from the public for about a month now on better ways to serve area kids.
 
Some of the suggestions include an indoor aquatic center, an indoor tennis center and even a year-round hockey rink.
 
During a special meeting of the Amarillo School District Board of Trustees last night, former superintendent Rod Schroder presented a plan for the district to become a partner with the city.
 
It would require the school district to kick-in $8-million in the public-private venture. 
Private donors would also contribute.
 
But, taxpayers would have to pay the rest. Somewhere in the neighborhood of $70-to-75 million.
 
Parks and Rec Director Rod Tweet says their public meetings have generated a lot of interest.
 
Amarillo Parks & Recreation Director Rod Tweet said, “The fact that we as a community don’t have an indoor pool, for a year around aquatic program or competitive swimming.  The fact that some of  the school gyms are getting over utilized from the standpoint of the number of needs there.  So maybe a gym or court facility.”
 
Tweet says updating our youth facilities would also provide an economic benefit to the city.
 
Just like the argument for the proposed ARC a few years ago, supporters say adding and updating their facilities would keep more parents in town rather than having to travel for club sports every weekend.
 
It would also provide more opportunities for others to travel here to play benefitting the whole area economically.
 
The school district plan focuses much of the improvements and additions in Southeast and Southwest Amarillo at the Rick Klein Baseball Complex and John Stiff Park.
 

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