Logan looking to get out of Rec Center business?

Logan city officials are holding discussions about the city divesting itself from its partial ownership of the Logan Recreation Center, but the other co-owner of the facility, the Logan City School District, may not financially be capable of taking over full ownership of the facility. The facility, constructed three decades ago, sits just south of Logan High School and has always been operated as a 50/50 partnership between the city and LHS. Logan Mayor Randy Watts said Monday, however, that over time, the amount of time the facility is utilized by Logan residents has diminished as student demand for facilities has increased.”Most of the key times of the day, the school’s got it utilized, so we get it on the early mornings or the late evenings,” Watts said. “Over the years there’s been more use by the high school, less use by the citizens and with economies of scale, we’re at least in discussion of what would that do for our citizen base.”So is Watts talking about getting Logan out of the recreation center business?”It is truthful that we are at least in a discussion situation with the school board to come up with some bullet points that we’ll look at,” Watts said. The Logan School District, which has always shared operation and maintenance costs with the city, would be the most obvious suitor to take over full ownership of the Rec Center, but Logan Superintendent Marshal Garrett said he’s not sure if at this time his district would be able to financially handle taking ownership of the facility.”I know that Mayor Watts would be interested in making it go back to the district if at all possible,” Garrett said, noting that ownership of the Rec Center has been an issue ever since he came to the Logan District about three years ago. It has, however, never elevated beyond discussion, Garrett said. “We have not taken it any further than that. It’s not on our agenda right now.”With Logan locked in by other communities on the north and south, mountains to the east and wetlands to the west, it may seem that there’s nowhere for the city to grow and therefore not much need for schools like Logan High to expand, but Garrett said LHS is actually in a growth mode right now.”It’s an interesting demographic,” he said of student populations. “We have been higher in the past for the last few years, and we actually started to grow again.”Whether that growth translates to a need to acquire new buildings for Logan High remains to be seen. Garrett said that’s “a very difficult crystal ball to look at,” and it’s something that could be considered in a facility study that the district plans to begin within the year. Within that study, Garrett said, will be a discussion about the Rec Center. One particular area of concern Garrett pointed out was during basketball season, there are sometimes conflicts between all the city leagues that need space to play and all the winter sports at Logan High.”It’s a very well used facility and we’ve kept it up,” Garrett said. “Both the city and the district have kept it up very well.”Watts said that if the city were able to divest itself of the Rec Center, he wouldn’t necessarily be looking to build a new facility, at least not on the scale of the current building. “Right now we’re not in discussion of building a new rec center,” Watts said. “Maybe a health center possibly or something to that effect that’s more just into the equipment side of it, not having the hot tubs and all of those other high maintenance items that you’ve seen in the past.”

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