Paris council member recommends using Love Civic Center as rec center

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PARIS, TX -- The push to bring an indoor recreation center to Paris sooner rather than later is building steam.

Last month the Paris City Council heard from MHS Parks Consultants on their 10-year parks master plan for the city. Which included the possibility of an indoor recreation center after a survey showed that residents wanted the facility.

"I think that if there were easy options and affordable options for everyone," said Paris resident Anel Ryan. "I think it would as a community bring a lot more of a fitness quality of life, which helps everybody."

"It would definitely help the city. It would give people a place to work out for free or cheap," said Paris resident Stetson Henderson.

At Monday night's meeting after approving the master plan, Councilman John Wright suggested using the Love Civic Center as a dual purpose facility, to help cut back the costs of building a new facility and bring residents a rec center sooner. But Love Civic Center Co-Chairman, Bobby Walters, says that wouldn't be easy.

"There would be a lot of money that would have to go into changing it over to a recreation center, because it's not designed right now for a recreation center," said Walters.

Walters says the city would have to make some tough scheduling decisions, like when to shut down the rec center to host civic center events.

"I think that the main thing is we need to have a discussion with the civic center board and the city manager and talk about what it really is we want this to be," said Walters.

One resident believes the location of the civic center is perfect for such a facility.

"Because it's so close to the trail and people that are exercise minded or fitness minded, I think it would be a very good fit," said Ryan.

All council members approved for the city manager to look into the possibility of using the civic center as a multipurpose facility. He will present an update back to the council at a future meeting.

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