By Loribeth Reynolds
Between basketball and volleyball practices, the group “HutchWins!” hosted a community briefing and tour at the Sports Arena on Feb. 23, to inform the public about plans and hopes for the facility.
The Hutchinson Sports Arena was built in 1952. The last renovation was over 30 years ago.
A big concern at the meeting was parking. City Manager John Deardoff attended to answer some questions from the public. When asked about any updates to 11th Avenue, he said there is not a plan yet.
“No plans to upgrade 11th Street as of right now,” Deardoff said.
Some community members were concerned about lost parking spaces, due to the tree-lined plazas shown in the architect’s plans for the parking lot.
As of right now, the parking lot has 1,311 stalls. With the purposed design, the lot would lose 240-250 stalls, leaving 917 stalls for parking.
Another concern surrounding updates to the arena is the need to make the facility more accessible to the disabled.
Currently the Sports Arena is not up to date with “ADA” (Americans with Disabilities Act) regulations.
“There is a cost to doing nothing,” Dr. Carter File, president of HCC, said.
Some issues that the HutchWins! group would like to fix is the elevator that doesn’t work properly, a closet being used as a women’s volleyball locker room, and ramps to the restrooms that do not meet ADA regulations.
These are among the many reasons some think it is time for an upgrade —and the HutchWins! group has decided to step in and take action.