Cosumnes CSD parks

The Cosumnes CSD parks staff wants to build a recreation center at this vacant lot in Morse Community Park.

More than 780 people this summer shared their ideas of amenities and programs for a recreation center that’s proposed for Elk Grove’s Morse Community Park.

The Cosumnes Community Services District (CSD) parks staff shared that September survey’s feedback during an Oct. 29 meeting at their district’s headquarters.

The public’s ideas include a fitness center, an indoor walking and running track, and even a “teaching kitchen” for people who want to improve their home cooking.

“I think that The Food Network has sparked people’s curiosity in wanting to cook new recipes,” said Kim Bailey of the parks consulting firm GreenPlay.  

The recreation center is proposed for a 4-acre vacant lot that sits near the large picnic area at Morse Community Park. That 30-acre park opened more than a dozen years ago at the heart of Elk Grove’s heavily populated East Franklin community. An estimated 104,600 residents live within three miles of that park, the CSD staff reported on Oct. 29.

District officials are now revisiting the original plan to build a recreation center after the late 2000s recession prompted them to shelve that idea more than a decade ago.

In preparing their feasibility study, the CSD staff this year held three community meetings, 12 stakeholder meetings, and four focus group meetings as well as an online survey.

 “We wanted to hear from the community, but we had no idea we would get 780 responses, which is wonderful,” CSD Project Manager Fred Bremermann said about the online survey.

He said that his staff will now take the feedback on desired amenities and focus on what the recreation center could look like.

Bremermann mentioned that his staff is also avoiding a duplication of facilities and recreation programs at nearby venues such as the new Elk Grove Aquatic Center and the future Senior Center of Elk Grove at the city’s civic center.

The CSD staff worked with GreenPlay on collecting public feedback. GreenPlay representatives on Oct. 29 said that most of the survey responders sought youth sports activities, a fitness center, batting cages, and a multipurpose gymnasium. There was also a desire for wi-fi access, short-term childcare, and a “community hub” or a meeting place for community members.

Meeting attendee Mary Adams-Wiley requested an indoor track for running or walking, since there are times when the outdoor weather or air is too harsh. She told the Citizen that she got pneumonia after walking in the smoky air during last fall’s wildfires in Northern California.

“I think I would rather be outside, but there are days when you shouldn’t be outside,” Adams-Wiley said.

Plans are to present the recreation center project’s draft plans to the CSD board next month. The final plan may be presented for approval as early as next March. Bremermann told the Citizen that the recreation center’s design and construction process could take one to three years to complete.

For more information on Morse Community Park’s proposed recreation center, visit the CSD’s website, www.YourCSD.com.