CRYSTAL TOWNSHIP — In the past five years, the Crystal Community Center has steadily become a social hub of the township.
Since the former elementary school was purchased by the township from Carson City-Crystal Area Schools for $1 in 2010, the center has hosted township board meetings, adult education classes, pickup basketball games and many other activities.
But now a little love is needed to keep the building in proper shape.
During Wednesday’s Crystal Township Board meeting, Clerk Bob Naumann brought forth a request that the board seek funds to repair the building through a bond proposal, to be voted on by residents of the township.
According to Naumann, the purpose of the bond would be “to make the necessary improvements and repairs to the Crystal Community Center in a timely fashion, resulting in monthly utility savings and creating a safe and desirable environment.”
Naumann said before moving forward he is requesting that members of the community submit their input so board members can weigh their options.
“We definitely have no intention for any actions right now,” he said. “This would appear on the August 2016 ballot at the soonest.”
According to Naumann, possible improvements paid for through the bond would include a new roof, ideally with a slope, possibly with some solar panels; replacing the existing steam boiler with a new HVAC system; remodeling the bathrooms, making them handicapped accessible; a remodel of the 1932 wing addition of the building; a complete replacement of windows in the 1962 addition; replacing doors in the gym; remodeling the community room, where township meetings are held; updating and expanding the electronic lock system; and repairing parking lot drainage.
Naumann said there are no current estimates on how much the bond proposal would requests in funds from taxpayers, but if the board moves forward, it would want to hire an architect firm to help develop the bond proposal and begin developing those figures.
“We would develop a project list and give that to at least five architectural firms so they would have time to put together a proposal,” he said. “The architect and the bond specifics would be detailed for the project, and then the voters would get to vote on the bond. At that point, if the bond passes, the architect is off and running. If it fails, we would be out the sum of money that was determined at the interview process that we would pay the architect to pay us to that point.”
Naumann said though he would favor a bond proposal passing, a failing of the bond would be just as telling.
“To me (if it failed) this would send a strong message that, without the bond, there’s no way our general fund is going to be able to pay for all of the work that needs to be done in the 1932 portion of the building,” he said. “Without that bond passing, the people are telling us to raze that portion of the building and then take care of the rest.”
Trustee Curt McCracken said he could support a bond proposal if the board made efforts for additional funds.
“You don’t think there’s any grants out there for any of this stuff?” he asked.
Naumann said that process would likely be handled by the architect firm hired by the township.
“That would be one of our questions, if they have experience with grant work or have taken on any projects similar to this,” he said.
The community center, located at 217 Park St., is currently the permanent home of the township offices, an alternative education program, and is projected as the future home of the Crystal Community Library.
Naumann said the board will discuss the issue further in December.