The Sunset Empire Park and Recreation District will begin a strategic plan process for the new Sunset Recreation Center.
The Klosh Group, an owner’s representative, will act as the district’s representatives in all matters, said Skyler Archibald, the park district’s executive director.
The group will serve on the district’s behalf in soliciting a request for proposal for the recreation center’s strategic plan and will represent the district’s interests, “then guiding that process to ensure that it is completed in a timely and efficient manner,” Archibald said.
The Klosh Group represented the Seaside Civic and Convention Center in their $15 million renovation, which finished in fall 2019.
The group signed a contract with the park district in November during due diligence on the purchase of the former middle school from the Seaside School District, which moved all classes to the new campus on Spruce Drive.
Jeff Caldwell, president of the Klosh Group, estimated an overall six-month to one-year strategic planning process, with three to four months to get a good focus “on what that process looks like.”
Specialized subconsultants may provide details on specific programs or building goals.
“Our best practice is to get the right consultants on the team to help really define and develop the highest and best use for the facility,” said David Dwyer, a senior construction manager with the Klosh Group.
The park district may look for a consultant with national experience with park and recreation district experience, Caldwell said.
“They should be dynamic, familiar with park and recreation districts, but also be familiar with some of the other areas that make this property unique,” Archibald said.
Board member Mike Hinton suggested a review of proposals from Opsis Architecture, a planning consultant that provided services for the park district during the 2018 expansion bond proposal. Hinton suggested looking at a possible performing arts center in the music room, two-floor gymnasium or vertical evacuation capabilities in the event of a natural disaster for long-term plans.
Hinton invited staff to join in the planning process. “Staff has been doing quite a bit of visioning, about what they’d like to do, and how they see parts of these buildings utilized. I think staff needs to share their vision completely with the board, and with the planners.”
“We have a lot of work ahead of us, obviously,” Caldwell said. “I think there is a tremendous opportunity to create a very unique facility, all in the name of creating a public benefit for future generations.”
“For most of us as staff, this is a new experience,” Archibald said. “We want to do our best but I think we’re going to rely on the other experts in the room.”