Community Recreation Complex
For 16 years, Parks and Recreation master planning for the City has identified a location at the southeast corner of Meredith Drive and 152nd in the Walnut Creek Regional Park for a community recreation complex. The specifics of the facility have not been defined and will depend on feedback and direction from the community, Parks and Recreation Commission, and the City Council. The City took a first step in defining the plan for this area with a survey conducted in early 2022. More information is included below. This page is updated with FAQ’s and information on upcoming public meetings related to the potential complex.
Open House Input Session
We need to hear from YOU! Learn about the project, share your ideas, and react to early planning. A firm has been hired to prepare preliminary design plans and cost estimates for the project. Two dates have been set for the Open House / Input Sessions for the Community Recreation Complex. This is an opportunity for residents to share their thoughts and comments on the project. Bring the whole family and join us for either date:
In January of 2022, Selzer & Company (a firm hired by the City of Urbandale) conducted a scientifically valid poll of Urbandale to assess voter reaction to a proposed community recreation complex. The “Community Recreation Complex” could be:
- An indoor pool open year-round with lap lanes, a leisure pool and multiple water slides
- Gymnasiums, fitness areas, a walking track, indoor playground and courts for sports
- An outdoor pool open three months a year with lap lanes, a leisure pool, multiple water slides, and a lazy river tubing course
- Multi-purpose meeting and event rooms for youth and senior classes, recreation programs, meetings and rentals
The goals of this poll were:
- To learn about voter knowledge of, and interest in, a community recreation complex;
- To explore comparative interest in an aquatic center as part of the plan;
- To determine the likelihood of voting in the election; and
- To quantify views of the implications for property taxes.
Of particular interest was whether an aquatic center is a necessary element of any proposal. To determine this, Selzer & Company looked at the interest versus the unmet need of people who use indoor or outdoor aquatic centers. Using the state’s voter list, 502 active registered voters were interviewed, with calls lasting approximately 12 minutes. You can view the results of the poll here.
In March of 2022, the City Council approved moving forward preliminary plans for a Community Recreation Complex in Urbandale. This complex could include amenities such as gymnasiums, indoor walking track, indoor playground, community rooms and rental space, general recreation space for programs and classes, senior recreation space, pickleball courts, etc. However, the facility would not include a pool, but could include an outdoor splash pad. A bond referendum would need to be held sometime in the future to allow voters to decide if the City should authorize the sale of bonds to raise funds for the project.
In April of 2022, Selzer & Company (a firm hired by the City of Urbandale) conducted a poll to assess voter reaction to a proposed Community Recreation Complex. The goals of this poll were to learn about voter knowledge of and interest in a community recreation complex; determine the likelihood of voting in the election; quantify views of the implications for property taxes; and to assess the attitudes toward the features and programming the new complex could offer. Using the state’s voter list, 501 active registered voters were interviewed, with calls lasting approximately 13 minutes. You can review the results of the survey/poll here.
In May of 2022, the City Council directed staff to proceed with the process of hiring a firm prepare preliminary design plans for the complex, cost estimates for construction and operations, and engage the community in public meetings and other forums to share information on the project.
In July of 2022, the City Council approved hiring RDG Planning and Design for the project. RDG will be holding public input sessions this fall to gain community input on specific amenities that are desired in the complex. More information will be shared on this webpage as it becomes available.
Three dates were set for the Open House / Input Sessions for the Community Recreation Complex. Residents shared their thoughts and comments on the project:
- Wednesday, October 19, 6-7:30pm at the Urbandale Library (3520 86th Street, Urbandale)
- Thursday, October 20, 11:30am-1pm at Urbandale City Hall (3600 86th Street, Urbandale)
- Monday, October 24, 6-7:30pm at Walnut Hills Elementary School (4240 NW 156th St, Urbandale)
The Mayor, City Council, and Parks & Recreation Commission members met for a worksession on Tuesday, November 8, to review information for the proposed Community Recreation Complex, including estimated construction and operational costs, preliminary designs, and potential property tax implications for residents. The Mayor and Council directed staff to continue finalizing plans for the Community Recreation Complex and bring forward a plan for review at an upcoming meeting on Tuesday, December 13.
Frequently Asked Questions
If a new Community Recreation Complex is built in the Walnut Creek Regional Park, what will happen to the existing Urbandale Senior Recreation Center?
There are no plans to close the current Senior Recreation Center (USRC). Any new facility that is being considered would provide programming that would complement what is already being offered at the existing USRC.
Is the City considering any new recreation opportunities on the “east” side of the community?
Yes, the City Council recently approved a $736,000 bid to repurpose the vacant Parks Maintenance Facility and turn it into office space for the Parks & Recreation Department. Located southeast of the Library, this project is part of a master plan for the Indoor/Outdoor Recreation Mini-Plex. The new office space should be complete by the summer of 2023.
The City Council also recently approved a master plan for Lions Park. The master plan process included multiple public input opportunities and the comments received were considered and utilized to develop the final master plan. The plan has two main phases, with the initial phase including development opportunities within the next five years. The long-term extended phasing plan would include larger investment options that would likely require a future voter-approved bond referendum.
In addition, a new splash pad is identified in the City’s Capital Improvement Program (CIP) Budget for Lions Park in 2024, a Dog Park is planned for construction in 2022 (located in Northview Wetlands Park, north of the interstate), a new shelter with a flushable restroom at Murphy Park will be completed in 2022, and the four north tennis courts at Walker Johnston Park will be resurfaced in 2022.
What about other health clubs, fitness facilities, and gyms in the area?
This facility will not be membership-based, and will not be a health/fitness club. The Community Recreation Complex will be designed to compliment other public and private facilities in the area. There are no plans to add a pool or workout equipment.
Will I have an opportunity to share my input related to this project?
Yes! The City will be holding multiple public input sessions at future dates. Check back to this web page for more information.
What are “master plans” and where can I view a copy?
A Master Plan is a document and policy guide designed to help communities create a vision of what they want to look like in the future. Urbandale Parks & Recreation uses your input to envision the future of our parks system and recreation facilities. Significant community input was used to develop the 2018 Parks, Recreation and Community Open Space Master Plan, which provides a clear direction to guide City staff, advisory committees, and elected officials in their efforts to enhance the community's parks system, open space, trails, recreational facilities, programs and services. The Parks, Recreation and Community Open Space Master Plan can be downloaded here.
Will there be a pool at the Community Recreation Complex?
No. The facility would not include a pool, but it could include an outdoor splash pad.