A community center is one step closer to a reality for Missoulians | ABC Fox Missoula

MISSOULA — After years of planning for a new community center, the Missoula Parks and Recreation Board has voted unanimously to adopt a proposal for the Currents Recreation and Creativity Center.

Director of Parks and Recreation Donna Gaukler said the center is designed to complement existing services in the community like the YMCA and ZACC>

“It’s not repeating what’s already there; or if it is, it’s just repeating it like a gym space, because we have such a desperate need in our community that we regularly turn people away,” said Gaukler.

The Montana Budget and Policy Center said the current supply of child care options only meets 50% of demand. Parks and Recreation officials said the community center will not compete with licensed providers, but plans to help bridge the gap between childcare and out-of-school care.

“It’s multi-generational. It’s a place where we all come together, it’s a place that has unique amenities that we really don’t have the exact same anywhere else,” Gaukler said.

Unique amenities like a ballroom for dance classes and performances, rooms for meetings and events, and a multipurpose gym.

Gaukler said she hopes it will be a place that brings together Missulians from all walks of life.

“Sometimes we forget that recreation is really about being social together. As much as it’s about keeping our bodies and minds healthy, we’re keeping our social senses happy and engaged,” she said.

The next step is to come before the city council to ask for the adoption of the conceptual master plan. Gaukler said this would allow them to continue building partnerships and research funding options.

You can click here to learn more about the project and next steps which are posted on the Engage Missoula website.

Jill E. Washington