Marshall White Center overhaul proposal to be ready in April | News, Sports, Jobs
Photo supplied, Marshall White Advisory Committee
OGDEN — A more defined proposal to revamp the Marshall White Center is in the works and should be ready for public review next month, along with a preliminary price tag to rebuild the facility.
Organizers behind the push to update the aging community and recreation center at 222 28th St. — a focus of intense scrutiny — conducted a survey and held several information-gathering sessions to get input on what a reimagined facility should feature. Whitney Ward, a VCBO Architecture principal who has worked with the Marshall White Advisory Committee in investigating construction of a new facility, updated the Ogden City Council on where things stand at a work session on Tuesday.
There’s been “a lot of consistency in the feedback,” Ward said. The condition of the Marshall White Center, owned by the city, has deteriorated over the years. Notably, the indoor swimming pool has been closed since 2018 because of cracks on its floor.
Early efforts to get public input winnowed the list of features a new facility should contain to 12. Subsequent outreach pinpointed the top four among those which, according to Ward’s presentation, include a multi-sport court potentially for basketball, pickleball and more; an indoor pool; an indoor turf field for activities like indoor soccer; and event space for community activities.
Following Tuesday’s presentation, Ward will discuss next steps with the advisory committee and the city administration in coming up with a more concrete proposal. The “preferred alternative,” she said, is to be presented to the Ogden City Council at an April 19 work session.
Photo supplied, Marshall White Center Advisory Committee
A rendering and preliminary price tag should also be ready, according to Sean Bishop, chair of the Marshall White Advisory Committee.
A concrete proposal to finance a new facility has yet to be put forward, would need backing from city officials for construction of a new facility to proceed. The future of the facility, though, will likely be a key consideration as city officials craft the 2022-2023 city budget in the weeks and months to come.
Among the considerations in crafting a plan, Ward said, is the high demand for use of the existing Marshall White Center gym for community events. That hinders the ability to use it for sports events, suggesting demand for dedicated event space. In its feedback, members of the public also put an emphasis on programming geared to kids and teens.
“We want to have something for everybody, from the littles all the way up to senior citizens,” Ward said. “But giving the kids something to do, the kids and the teenagers something to do on a daily basis, really came up time and time again.”
Richard Hyer, a member of the Ogden City Council, indicated he’d like more details on what sort of demand an upgraded facility would generate from the public and what sort of fees people would be willing to pay to use it. Such information would help council members as they decide what next to do, he said.
Councilperson Angela Choberka suspects demand would be strong for a new facility, as does Bishop.
“I feel confident it will get used pretty heavily,” he said.
Councilperson Marcia White expressed concern about a revamped facility getting used by organized sports teams, potentially leaving out adjacent community members. The Marshall White Center has historically served as a gathering spot for events and sports activities for those living in the low- to moderate-income neighborhoods around it.
If an upgraded facility solely serves as a practice facility for organized teams, it “defeats the purpose” of the facility serving as a community center, White said.
Top potential features for a revamped Marshall White Center, aside from the top four, include a boxing studio, community kitchen, Head Start facilities, flexible classrooms, an indoor track, an outdoor swimming pool, fitness space and a fitness studio.