The Clovis Wellness Center steering committee is looking into bids for the aerobics and entrance portions of the center, which is planned in the spot formerly occupied by the now-demolished Play, Inc. building.
The move is an attempt to dissuade the state from taking back previously awarded capital outlay, which city officials said is a concern with potential budget shortfalls facing the 2009 state Legislature.
Grant Coordinator Carole Moreno told the committee during Monday’s meeting that state officials have asked about three previous capital outlay expenditures the city has not used on the wellness center so far. Moreno said one of them was for the October demolition of the Play, Inc. building, but no work has been done with two other awards totaling $419,670.
Those awards make up a lion’s share of the $640,000 in the amount the city currently has set aside for the project — almost a 10 percent down payment for the $7.6 million project, committee chair Vince DeMaio said.
In addition to the aerobics center and the entrance ways, other future work includes women’s locker rooms, a therapy pool, a weight training area, a lobby and parking lot improvements.
City Manager Joe Thomas had trepidation over suggestions the money be immediately put towards parking lot improvements, because it wouldn’t demostrate good governance to have a parking lot for a center relying on state funding that may never arrive.
Mayor Gayla Brumfield said she will likely ask for $4 million in capital outlay for the center, the city’s No. 2 priority in the upcoming legislative session. Brumfield said she considers the wellness center a key quality of life issue, particularly for incoming Cannon Air Force personnel.
But Legislative/Community Development Director Claire Burroughes said she’d never seen a project awarded such an amount, even in good financial years, and the Hull Street Overpass will get more attention at the city’s top priority.
DeMaio said the wellness center has a good chance for funding, since there’s solid movement on construction and local school physical education teachers are already interested in implementing programs using the center.
“Those are issues that draw a lot of effort in funding decisions,” DeMaio said.