Discussion – Community and Recreation Center

“Do you think the City of Smithville should take on the construction of a community or recreation center, or are there alternatives that could achieve a similar effect?”

For the last several years, including throughout the strategic planning and comprehensive planning processes, discussion of a community center has been ongoing and precedes our current Comprehensive Planning process. When polled, 83% of Task Force members think such a facility would be best located where much of Smithville’s current social infrastructure already exists – in the Hospital Bluff Character area. As a general rule, it takes a population of at least 20,000 to support the cost and maintenance of a new community or recreation center. (Smithville’s current population is about 10,000 with an expected population increase to around 15,000 by 2030.) Many communities without community rec centers use their school gyms and pools or places of worship as public recreation amenities during non-school or religious service hours. Often Libraries serve as community hubs for community programing and meeting places. What are your ideas for how Smithville can address this community need in an affordable manner?

Taskforce Survey Result

QUESTION: Given price tag and community size – how important do you REALLY think additional costs to build and maintain recreation amenities (such as pools / indoor recreation) are?

ANSWER: 23% of Task Force respondents think it is critical to do this, 41% think it would be great to have but not urgent, and 23% think they would not be needed within the next 10 years.

We would love to hear your thoughts!

What do you think could be first steps to achieving the effects of a community or recreation center in Smithville at the scale we can currently afford and support?

Hospital Bluffs proposed Smithville character area map.


  1. Whitney Carlile
    August 28, 2020 at 2:36 pm · Reply

    We would love to see a rec center in Smithville! We recently moved to Smithville from Liberty. Many other families we know are currently looking to Smithville as a place to move to. The small town, acreage options, community values all make it appealing for families. I’d support anything that strengthens families, youth and community. We have been to some AMAZING rec centers in different states and would love to be on a committee (if there is one) to offer our suggestions and input. We have four young children and plan to be here in Smithville for the long haul. Let us know how we can be more involved. Thank you!

  2. Doug Cirricione
    August 28, 2020 at 2:42 pm · Reply

    while a community center would be nice to have, believe there are other priorities at this time. We have parks in the city, the lake is nearby and the school facilities could be used for other activities outside of school hours or activities to better suite our community at this time

  3. Melissa
    August 28, 2020 at 3:04 pm · Reply

    Yes! Make it happen!!! Not all of Smithville lives in subdivision with pool access. It would be a great alternative to taking our business elsewhere such as Plattsburg, Liberty, Gladstone. The added benefit of having the potential of a lower cost workout facility would be amazing. As well as potential of rooms that could be used for baby showers and such. Our community needs this!

  4. Debra Dotson
    October 3, 2020 at 8:19 am · Reply

    A YMCA style community center would be great to have. How would we pay for it? Increasing property taxes are already creating burdens for many residents. Perhaps leveraging a partnership with public/private organizations would speed up the process. A community pool for summer use only doesn’t deliver the biggest bang for the buck. A year round facility offering exercise/swimming and other amenities would attract more people and generate use fees. If the citizens had to shoulder the entire cost….land, construction and maintenance….. it would create hardships. Public/Private options have been used elsewhere successfully. Another consideration is Covid. Many municipalities closed their public pools and community centers this year. The cost to maintain still had to be met. CC plans need to incorporate worst case scenario risk management protocols.

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