I actually support a rec center and think that the Midco Aquatic Center was a colossal mistake. Wrong location, too small of a facility.

The city is pushing towards another indoor pool, but many want it in coordination with a Rec Center.

The top three requests: an indoor recreation center, pickleball courts and potentially a fitness park similar to what the city recently installed at Rotary Park.

This wasn’t the first time an idea like this was floated. During the debate about the location of the Denty, many suggested we build the EC downtown with an attached convention center and convert the Arena and current CC into a rec center. Before that was Drake Springs.

They didn’t get far.

But the real question here is the cost;

“Obviously, we didn’t have any dollar signs associated with anything — this was us trying to gather feedback from the public on what they’d like to see. So we need to weigh all the answers we received with — from our professional opinion — what is best for the park and best for the community and also weigh that with budget and working with the city on if it’s something to phase over time or what’s the initial investment.”

The city is very well aware of what it may cost, and like a $10 million dollar, $20 million dollar bridge, the funding is hidden.

A city official told me recently that the budget for the quality of life projects for 2024 was originally $30 million. They said that number has doubled and could get even higher depending on the proposal picked.

It’s the oldest trick in the book. Sell the consumer on the Cadillac when they only have a budget for Scion.

The city has estimates for what this ‘BOND’ will be ($30 million budgeted and $30 million in bonds = $60 million) but like the bridge debacle they are hiding it from the public.

If you look at interest and other costs you could easily be at $80 million dollars!

Just look at this item in the consent agenda on Tuesday (Item #7);

Why would you hire bond council before you know how much you are bonding? Unlike dead animals, expensive bridges and the lipstick on a bunker ramp, just for once can you be upfront with the public?

Just once!

Maybe they should use the Lincoln Park space for a Rec Center? You would have plenty of room for a facility and some parking and green space to boot. The parking lot could be reduced since there is oodles of on street parking around the park.

Listen to the Lincoln Park group speak at the School Board meeting tonight (FF: 22:00)

9 Thoughts on “Looks like we are gonna get a Rec Center in Sioux Falls

  1. D@ily Spin on November 14, 2023 at 9:09 am said:

    Oboy, another play palace without a public vote! Gotta keep the city drowned in debt so there’s no money for public water upgrade. What’s most important in the Midwest is learning to swim over amber waves of grain.

  2. Scott D Hudson on November 14, 2023 at 12:27 pm said:

    I’m gonna laugh in about ten years when the pickle ball fad dies and all of these facilities are stuck with these unused courts.

  3. Very Stable Genius on November 14, 2023 at 12:59 pm said:

    Some of us still living in the old southwest part of town would like to know when Spellerberg is going to get an outdoor pool once again. Because honestly, a town with a $20 million bridge should be able to afford an outdoor pool for the kids of Spellerberg.

    ( and Woodstock adds: “‘kids of Spellerberg’?”….. “That sounds like the name of a novel about some mischievous kids who grew-up to become local developers and bankers…. Some rich, some poor, but together their upbringings in the backdrop of some local swanky country clubs laid the foundations for the ‘Tale of Two Cities'”…. 😉 )

  4. Hudson, we are on the same wave length, I thought the same thing. I call Pickleball the Rollerblading of the 2000’s. FAD.

    I have argued for a long time that the Parks Department should concentrate on the natural beauty of our parks and have programming that is really just regular recreational activities instead of capital building.

    Just look at that monstrosity they are building down by falls park. A project that was going to cost $4 million ballooned to 4x that! Nobody has ever told me we needed this. About ten years ago a city councilor mentioned it would be nice to have a modest refrigerated ice rink. That is the last time it was mentioned to me. This is a vanity project and little else.

    It’s classic ‘Bread and Circus’.

  5. Fear & Loathing in Sioux Falls on November 14, 2023 at 1:08 pm said:

    Pickleball? Why not tennis? The reality of Pickleball is just another example of the decline of the American middle class, where shortened and compromised dreams have left for many just a pickle.

    Oh, and speaking of fads, at least for now a guy can ride his ebike to a court to play Pickleball…. (I’m so mean some times. 😉 )……

  6. The tech is moving so fast on E-Bikes I expect there will be very affordable enclosed bikes;


    Today is a great example why an E-bike is much more. Get on your beach cruiser today and ride straight South, you won’t get far. A 23 MPH wind gets sliced on an E-Bike. I don’t even notice the wind when I am riding, sometimes I don’t even know what direction it is blowing.

    I will admit though this summer I was full throttle down Cliff one night, I was trying to make it home before a storm, and wind gusts were insane. One gust was so bad it blew my bike in the other lane!

  7. F&LinSF on November 14, 2023 at 2:03 pm said:

    Let’s keep this argument going! 😉 When you first bike – on your one speed cruiser – you have the energy and idealism to fight a strong wind, but then you turn around when you are half way done with your routine, and then, you just let the wind sail you home to a Diet Pepsi and a Little Debbie Cosmic Brownie….. 🙂

  8. D@ily Spin on November 14, 2023 at 3:06 pm said:

    E-Bikes are regulated but unlicensed quads that do 50 MPH are not. Wouldn’t career alcoholics be safer on unrestricted E-Bikes? The future could be battery powered Tuk Tuks contracted with an Uber App! No license/tax, solar charge roof, drive on sidewalks, free parking, no traffic tickets.

  9. D@ily Spin on November 14, 2023 at 3:25 pm said:

    Isn’t Pickle Ball badminton without the plastic funnel? Oh, I get it. A developer wants to waste millions on ‘courts’ instead of just a simple game in a public park. OK, but I want a lighted domino field with 20 picnic tables, rows of bleachers, and a media tower.

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