Plans To Close Osage Recreation Center

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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

City leaders plan to close a south Wichita recreation center and eliminate more than a dozen jobs, with hopes of saving money.

The idea of reorganizing the city's park and recreation centers surfaced during budget talks this summer. A study now shows streamlining management and shutting down one center will save almost $900,000.

City manager Bob Layton is recommending closing Osage Recreation Center in south Wichita at the end of the year. A study conducted by Wichita State shows not many people participate in the programs there, possibly because it is close to a YMCA and another community center.

Some neighbors aren't happy about the possibility of the shut down.
"I think it's awful. I live here because of it. It's going to put a strain on the community," said Annie Allen.

Other recommendations include partnering with another organization to run Boston Recreation Center in southeast Wichita. The city also plans to eliminate 14 positions within the parks and recreation department and create two positions including a marketing job. All employees in the department will have to reapply for their jobs.

The city has held community meetings at each of the recreation centers asking for community input over the last couple of months. The city council has to approve the recommendations before any move is final.

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