By Lariena Nokes

Hutchinson has grown to be a thriving, town of 40,000 people, young and vibrant, full of life, bursting with strength and athletic talent.

It is sad that the Hutchinson Sports Arena has survived 62 years and is no longer able to keep up with the communities’ expectations or HCC’s instructional needs.

The outside of the building shows the affect the years have had on this once grand venue.

Tours being given inside spotlighted locker rooms with shared showers and restroom facilities for men’s teams playing each other — and locker rooms for women’s teams with no showers or restroom facilities.

The condition of the interior for the athletes and spectators needs to be improved.

I strongly recommend stopping by the arena and taking a tour to see the state of this grand old place for yourself.

On April 7, everyone who lives and votes in Hutchinson has a chance to make sure that our sports arena in the heart of town continues to keep up with the exuberant pace of life we have all become accustom to.

The HutchWins! organization has an ordinance on the ballot that amounts to a third of a penny to improve and renovate our sports arena.

The increase is .0035 sales tax issues that will last ten years and add up to $29 million worth of improvements.

Lots of times the math gets lost in translation, a .35 percent tax is “…less the 2 cents on a $5 sandwich, 3.5 cents on a $10 movie ticket, 35 cents on $100 worth of groceries or $70 on a $20,000 car.” – Hutchinson News Jan 4, 2015.

Easily affordable for any resident of Hutchinson, really we cannot afford not to pass this tax.

The sports arena is located in the heart of Hutchinson and hosts the NJCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, the Dillon lecture Series, HCC Graduation, SaltHawk’s sports events, and circuses.

With Hutchinson approving the tax issue on April 7, we could potentially end up with new exciting events.

These events may include; badminton tournaments, broom-ball tournaments, cheerleading tournaments and many other events of nation wide importance.

Your “yes” vote can insure that Hutchinson remains the center of important events and activities and that our arena becomes a safe comfortable place to enjoy all the new events and tournaments ready to take Hutchinson for a test drive.

Your third-of-a-cent contribution can encourage new sports to host their tournaments in Hutchinson and bring millions to our local economy.

Visit the website to learn about upcoming events and activities and be sure your registered to vote as a resident of Hutchinson before April 7.

Young voices echo off of old walls, steel rails and fold-down seats play host to the instruction of coaches, the height of the building is deceptive compared to the sweeping arches.

After 63 years of loyal service to the community our arena deserves a facelift and our community deserves to continue to believe that the best is yet to come.

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