The Soldotna city council got a first look at some drawings for the planned field house expansion at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex at its meeting Wednesday.
A lot is still up in the air; major fundraising for the project is yet to begin. But the goal is to provide a year round space for sports and other activities year round.
“We’re trying to make sure this was a facility that would support a variety of athletic and non-athletic pursuits. In terms of the athletics, we needed something that would serve soccer, basketball, volleyball, football, pickleball, which I had to learn some about. Also wrestling and a variety of uses for the track as well, just to support the healthy lifestyles initiative that is strong here," said Joanna Croft, with the Anchorage architecture firm Burkhart-Croft.
The city has set aside $3 million to be used as matching funds in the fundraising effort. The fruits of that labor will determine the final design and what extra goodies get included. But at a minimum, the council is looking for a lot of sporting uses and flexibility for conventions, trade shows and other money makers. Some design aspects have been sorted out; the basic construction, for instance.
“The other thing is that we wanted it to be cost effective. So there’s been the decision to go with a pre-engineered metal building for the largest portion of construction, which is a very cost effective construction method. And we want it to be energy efficient, so there’s a continuous insulation panel around the project, both the roof and the walls, to have it be an efficient envelope," Croft said.
But the big draw will be inside on a turf field that Croft told the council will be able to host multiple activities at once. It will be split into thirds.
“With this modular turf area, you could put futsal on one third of it, you could have a group of Cub Scouts using the middle section for something and then you could have a basketball game on the other third. And you could fit one or more of these courts on there, but we purposefully organized it so it could divide up easily in any number of ways.”
Now with some drawings on hand, the hard work of raising an additional five to eight million dollars will begin in earnest. The next update from the architects will include final designs and material choices and cost estimates.