Courtesy of The Payson Roundup
• by Alexis Bechman roundup staff reporter
• Jan 9, 2018 Updated Jan 9, 2018
After several months of work, the town has unveiled three possible master plan layouts for Rumsey Park.
Each of the plans includes a large training center, community center as well as additional fields, parking and possible pool.
The town would like the community to weigh in on what option they like the best at a public meeting at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 17 at the Nazarene Church, 200 E. Tyler Parkway.
The plans so far focuses on an overall layout of amenities in the park and not so much on what will go in the training and community centers.
“They are very preliminary and we’ve kept them ‘loose’ purposely to provide the opportunity for community participation and feedback,” said Doug Stelling, lead designer with RSP Architects.
Payson and the developer of a proposed sports-oriented prep school agreed to split the $250,000 cost of producing a Rumsey Park master plan. The community center, covered pool, dual hockey rinks, athletic fields and sports and training facilities would serve both the proposed 600-student prep school and the general public.
The town plans a series of forums to seek public input on the proposal prior to any vote on whether to partner with the prep school to build the new facilities. Revenue bonds would be repaid by the money made by the new facilities.
The most notable difference between the three plans is where the training and community centers are placed in the park.
Option 1 places the community center, appropriately, in the center of the park across from the library with the training center where the pool is now. This option is the cheapest because existing sport fields would remain where they are.
Option 2 groups the community and training center together across from the library and reworks several of the fields.
Option 3 pushes the community/training center to the north end of the park where there are now baseball and soccer fields and puts all of the fields on the south end of the park, likely making it the most expensive option because everything would move.
All of the options include tennis and pickleball courts, softball, soccer and hiking trails.
Existing park amenities like the skate and dog park were not drawn on the maps, but Mayor Craig Swartwood said the town will keep them, although the dog and skate parks might not remain in Rumsey Park.
Swartwood said those facilities may move to other locations, but nothing has been decided.
Many of the facilities could be used by a college preparatory academy, which would be built behind Walmart. Lane Moore of Varxity is heading that endeavor.
Besides creating the parks master plan, CCP is studying the feasibility of building the community/training centers including how to fund these park improvements. They are also creating a business plan for the college prep academy.
Moore hopes to open an elite academy for some 500-600 students that focuses on getting high school students athletic scholarships to Division I schools. The school would focus on hockey, but is also exploring other sport options, like golf, figure skating and even rodeo.
Moore says based on market research, he believes the Southwest is the prime location to open a prep school. Payson is a great location because of its altitude, small community feel and safety. He said parents want to send their children someplace they know they can learn in a safe environment, especially if they are sending their children over from another country.
Later, Moore plans to unveil his plans for the prep school, which will be built on private property behind Walmart, which is currently in escrow. He is currently in the first round of investments and moving forward to open a school in the fall of 2021, said Ron Chambless with CCP.