Letter To The Editor: ‘Recreation In Los Alamos’

By JAMES ROBINSON
Los Alamos
 
Over the last few years, Los Alamos has made wonderful strides in providing recreation activities across the county.
 
I have heard many people say that our trail system rivals similar systems in Colorado and is better served because of its access from anywhere in town, the skate park continues to be a place where kids and teens can go to work on their skills, our parks are clean and well maintained, and our ice rink continues to be a popular destination in the winter.
 
However, the one thing Los Alamos lacks is a central recreation center. Despite all of the wonderful assets we have, there is no one place to conduct these activities.
 
In her proposal, Councilor Susan O’Leary calls for the creation of a central recreation facility to house a recreational pool, indoor basketball courts and soccer fields, as well an many other features. On the basis of need, I am in full agreement with Councilor O’Leary. Los Alamos is on the cusp of an economic boom.
 
For the first time in its existence, Los Alamos can look forward to an exploded tourist market with the founding of the Valles Caldera National Park and the Manhattan Project National Park. The attractions will bring money into every part of Los Alamos, and could potentially have an impact on people moving to Los Alamos.
 
A recreation facility would be a perfect marketing tool for people with families to add to their consideration when deciding to visit and/or move to Los Alamos.
 
However, I am hesitant to support a bond issue to pay for the recreation facility. I would encourage the council to seek out a partnership with a private entity for the creation of this facility.
 
Although Los Alamos does not currently have vast amounts of land to build a massive centralized facility, there are options. Los Alamos could utilize an existing asset like Pueblo School. Similar to UNM-LA, the facility would already have many of the facilities a recreation center could ask for without full construction.
 
Another possibility could be similar to the school and Smith’s.
 
Good thing, there are many opportunities that can be explored and discussed, but public funding should only be used if a cost/benefit analysis proves the venture would be worth the investment.
 
I would like to thank Councilor O’Leary for her wonderful proposal and her commitment to making Los Alamos a better place. The idea of a recreation center will most likely prove to be a divisive one, and I encourage everyone to write your councilors with your thoughts and ideas.
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