It looks like Sisters Country is getting something the public has been asking for — a more significant community center.
Things are moving forward for the Sisters Park and Recreation District to repurpose the Old Sisters Elementary School into a community recreation center once a new elementary school opens in 2024.
“We’ve just entered into a letter of intent with the school district,” said Executive Director at the Sisters Park & Recreation District Jennifer Holland.
“(We) also continue to hear is there is not enough drop-in basketball. Opportunities are drop-in pickleball opportunities and more time to do fitness programs or expand child care seats, which is another need here in the community. We do live in a child care desert.”
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Holland says having more space would allow the district to better serve the community’s needs.
The recreation district hopes to finalize a lease agreement by August.
“Our intent would be to spend that summer moving into the old elementary school and making it fit for our needs to be able to have a grand opening sometime in fall to be able to start serving the community,” said Holland.
The community asked for a larger community center. Now, it is the community that is going to choose the operational fate of the possible new facility.
Voters will see a Parks and Rec Option levy on this May’s ballot, a renewal of the current rate of $0.15 per $1,000 assessed property value.
“If that wasn’t to pass, it would make the transition more difficult,” Holland said. “I’m not sure if it is something that we would be able to proceed with. We are a highly underfunded special district, so the local option levy is a renewal at the current rate. It’s not adding more taxes, but it does allow us to have the flexibility to take advantage of these opportunities when they come about.”