SHERIDAN — Concerns about traffic and the location of a proposed Big Horn community center were addressed at the Sheridan County School District 1 Recreation District public meeting last night.
Approximately 20 people attended the meeting. Some community members said they were worried that the center would be located on a busy highway at the proposed location just past the Big Horn Y. The recreation board said the Wyoming Department of Transportation surveyed the area and showed that traffic should not be a problem for the facility.
The other major concern expressed during Wednesday’s meeting was the location.
Neighbors said they are not opposed to having a community center, but they would rather have it in Big Horn instead of on the outskirts of the community.
They said they don’t want it in their backyards, but rather in town.
The Recreation District Board reminded meeting attendees that the district does not own the property next to the Big Horn schools and the organization is separate from the school district. Recreation District board members said they will not be able to increase taxes in order to fund the building. They plan to use insurance money that was obtained when the bus barn formerly located on the property burned down.
Plans for the property include a community center along with soccer fields and basketball courts. The building itself would have an exercise room, kitchen and rooms to hold programs. The board said they hoped the facility could provide space for teaching programs and extra curricular activities. The board also proposed to have the school district’s new preschool moved to the community center.
The board recently sent surveys to neighbors in an effort to gather feedback on what types of programs are needed and overall thoughts about the proposed facility. Board members said they have collected 220 surveys and will put the results of the surveys on the school district’s website.
The board also discussed their obligation to provide programming on both the Tongue River and Big Horn sides of the district. Right now, the Tongue River Valley Community Center serves the northern portion of the district, but no mechanism is in place to provide similar programs on the Big Horn side.
Recreation District Board members have said they started discussions with the Sheridan YMCA with the hopes the nonprofit could provide programming and potentially even run the community center for the Recreation District.