City to spend $120,000 on park building

Thursday, November 8, 2007 | 5:34 p.m. CST; updated 9:39 p.m. CDT, Wednesday, July 16, 2008

COLUMBIA — The Department of Parks and Recreation will use $120,000 in park sales tax money to make repairs to its Park Management Center in Cosmopolitan Park.

The money will be used for the second phase of work on the building: repairing exterior walls that have water damage and improving offices and storage spaces. The second phase comes after the roof was replaced this past summer; the new work will repair damage caused by roof leaks.

Senior Parks Planner Mike Snyder has water damage in the office he has used for eight years at the center.

“The leaks had just gradually gotten worse and worse over time. It wasn’t like this when I first moved in,” Snyder said.

Since the roof was fixed Snyder has not seen water leaking into his office, but its exterior walls might have major problems. The department won’t know the extent of the damage until it starts the next phase of the project.

The second phase will begin this fall and continue through the winter. Parks and Recreation Director Mike Hood said in a report to the City Council that park construction staff will do the repairs when inclement weather prevents them from working outdoors.

“When the weather turns bad and they can’t work outside, we’ll set them aside to do work on this project,” Parks Services Manager Mike Griggs said. “It’s really kind of a weather-related project.”

The first priority now is exterior repairs. After that, the department wants to create a workspace for the new engineering aide that will be funded by the sales tax.

Griggs said the person hired to the new position will work as an assistant to two existing park planners and will be able to work in the field with contractors building park projects.

Hood said the office and storage improvements at the management center are contingent upon money left over after exterior repairs. Now that they have the money, the department will be able to determine the extent of the exterior damage and get started on repairing it.

The facility has grown since its use as a hangar for Columbia Municipal Airport more than 30 years ago and now houses more than 90 full-time and seasonal employees.

The project was included in the fiscal 2008 capital improvements budget. The council passed an ordinance Monday night approving construction plans.

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