The owner of a Cortez gymnastics studio on Friday pitched an ambitious concept for a large, multifunctional sports complex or field house geared toward youths.
“I’m just trying to get the thought going,” Randy Quillin told the Cortez Parks, Recreation and Forestry Advisory Board meeting on Friday.
The idea is in a preliminary stage, and Parks and Recreation Director Dean Palmquist said after the meeting that similar projects take 10 years to complete. During the meeting, he asked Quillin about the concept’s scale.
Quillin said he’s not stuck on the specifics, but the base structure could be a similar size of the warehouse on the corner of East Empire Street and Colorado Highway 145 – the former ATC Gymnastics location that is now a CrossFit gym and golf simulation business – but would require two or three stories on top of that.
He said he envisions one area for gymnastics, cheerleading and acrobatics with trampolines and pits in the middle as well as parkour and extreme sports areas with halfpipes and quarter pipes for skateboards and BMX bikes. It could also incorporate indoor soccer or football fields, a padded room for wrestling and a separate room with hardwood floors.
Advisory board member Alan Klein said such a project would require a “huge building” that would rival, if not exceed, the cost of the Cortez Recreation Center.
“That was a huge bond issue that took a lot to pass,” Klein said.
Quillin said he is open to any combination of public or private funding and said he has heard a lot of interest from various groups that could rent or lease parts of the facility. He said it could draw people from Utah and New Mexico.
Palmquist said a publicly funded facility would require its own voter-approved sales tax. Advisory board member Tom Rennick said a private facility would likely require a nonprofit organization to raise money and gather stakeholders.
The proposal comes as the city is planning a $3.75 million community park on the south side of town and residents are still paying off the loan for the Cortez Recreation Center.
Voters in 2001 approved a 0.55 percent sales to pay for the recreation center, bringing in about $1.2 million annually, of which $690,000 goes to loan payments. In 2018, voters lowered the sales tax rate to 0.35 percent but extended the term.
Aside from the financial discussion, the two youth members of the advisory board expressed support for the idea.
“Considering the youth of Cortez, I think this would be a pretty good thing for us to have because all of the youth here get bored,” said Sawyer Dietrich, a senior at Montezuma-Cortez High School. “They get bored, and a lot of them find trouble.”
Clarissa Dukeminier, also a senior at M-CHS, said many of the programs for youths in Cortez are seasonal.
“There’s nowhere to go ... especially with the younger kids,” she said.
Palmquist said Quillin’s proposal would need to be fully vetted, and a project like this would require public support.