PA Email List | 2012-06-27 | Old Armory to be demolished

It is official. The Old Armory will be demolished utilizing $300,000 the city has budgeted for that contingency. The city received only two responses to its Request For Proposals issued mid-May. The historic modern-style armory building is planned to be replaced by a $1-million "pre-engineered metal building" with four indoor tennis courts. A 1.2-acre reservation will provide space for a storm water detention basin to be installed at a date yet to be determined.
Here is a link to information about the Old Armory: http://paupdate.org/topics/index.htm#Armory
Below are excerpts from Steve Vied's article in today's Messenger-Inquirer, with emphasis added...
Commission accepts indoor tennis idea; Armory to be demolished
By Steve Vied Messenger-Inquirer | Posted: Wednesday, June 27, 2012 12:00 am

The former National Guard Armory on Parrish Avenue will be torn down and a $1 million indoor tennis center is planned for the site, based on a consensus reached Tuesday by the Owensboro City Commission.

During a work session at City Hall, the commission accepted a proposal made by the Owensboro-Daviess County Tennis Association that calls for the association to raise $500,000 in the next six months to pay for half the cost of a four- to six-court tennis facility, with the city paying the other half. In accepting the tennis association's proposal, the commission rejected a request by the Elizabeth Munday Senior Center to reserve the land for a new senior center.
But the commission also agreed to find another location for a senior center.

At one point in Tuesday's discussion, Mayor Ron Payne proposed that a decision on a use of the land be postponed until after the armory building is torn down. But Phil Clark of the tennis association said the group needed a commitment on a site to help it raise money.

The Munday center wants the property used as the home of a new $10 million, 60,000-square-foot senior citizens center. Both proposals involve tearing down the armory to make way for the new projects.

Before the meeting, Payne said he was leaning toward a tennis center. Tony Cecil, the city's operations manager, said a committee gave a higher score to the tennis center proposal. But neither group has the money in hand to complete their proposals.

"Moreland Park is the appropriate site for tennis, but we have a need to accommodate seniors," Payne said. "I don't know if English Park has been mentioned (as a site for a senior center), but it is a beautiful site."

First Cecil and then Clark of the tennis association said the ability of the group to raise money for a tennis center depends heavily on a commitment by the city to provide the armory site, which is a few hundred yards from the city's 12-court outdoor tennis facility, which is due to be updated later this year.

Clark said without a site commitment, raising money will be difficult. With a site commitment, the group is agreeing to raise the money within six months, he said.

After more discussion, Payne proposed that the City Commission grant the tennis association the right to build on the site, contingent on the association raising $500,000, with the city matching that amount. "That's our intent," Clark said.

Payne's proposal was also to give the city staff the go-ahead to tear the old armory building down, which was agreed to by the rest of the commission. City Attorney Ed Ray said a formal vote on the entire matter will come later.

Tom Vittitow, Munday center director, answered yes when asked by Payne if he would agree with the armory site being used for a tennis facility, as long as the city finds another site for a senior center. "Yes, but our concern is the site," he said.

Cecil said the tennis association's proposal asked for land and a $500,000 matching grant to build a pre-engineered metal building about 300 feet by 142 feet, with four courts but expandable to six courts.

A lot of work will have to be done to determine how the building will be designed and maintained and what access the public will have to the courts, Cecil said.

Whatever is built on the armory site, room must be left for a 1.2-acre storm-water detention basin to help alleviate heavy street flooding in the area following downpours.