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Center’s progress slows
Written by Lu Stitt   
Wednesday, 02 January 2008 13:05

Only a few minor changes have been made to the original design of the Cottonwood Community Recreation and Aquatics Center.

In November 2006, Cottonwood voters said “yes” to approve $17 million in bonding for the city to build a recreation center at the corner of Sixth and Paula streets, south of the Cottonwood Public Library.

The city unveiled the plans in December 2005 for a 60,000-square-foot center that would have amenities for every age group, including a wave pool, water slide, exercise rooms and many other recreation and
exercise offerings.

The design echoed that of the Verde Valley Senior Center to reflect Cottonwood’s mining history.

Now that the money is available, the sale of the bonds took place in November 2007, work has begun. Now it is in the design stage with Barker Rinker Seacat Architecture. The contract with it was signed in August 2007.

“So far, we’re right on budget,” Scott Mangarpan the new project manager for the city’s public works department said.

There still are many steps yet to go, according to Mangarpan. He is also overseeing the Cottonwood Public Library expansion, currently under construction.

“We have to finish with the design work and get a construction manager-at-risk on board. We’ve received applications and interviewed three. We’re in the process of getting a proposal from them, “ Mangarpan said.

The basic design and the plans for inside remain the same, except the proposed Verde Valley Medical Center’s Wellness Center is no longer included.

The competition swimming and diving pool has turned 90 degrees and faces north/south instead of east/west, and a small utility room has been added to the south side.

“We’ll also add to the wall between the center and the Courtside Apartments. That’s a fire lane along there so there won’t be much traffic, so noise shouldn’t be a problem,” Mangarpan said as he pointed to a roadway along the south side of the building.

Other features include a lap pool and water current channel, a walk/run indoor track, a climbing wall, fitness and free-weight areas and group exercise spaces.

It will also offer a game room, a multi-purpose room, a gymnasium, a multi-purpose arts and crafts room, a catering kitchen, lockers, baby-sitting/tot activity area for parents who are using the center, showers and vending machines.

The Cottonwood Parks and Recreation offices will move into the center and four outside tennis courts complete the complex.

Once the new pool is ready for use, the old pool next to the tennis courts will be filled in and probably used for parking, according to the plans.

“We anticipate going out to bid by fall 2008, and start construction in winter 2008-09. It depends on how quickly we can go through all of the necessary steps,” Mangarpan said.

“This is what I’ve done for the last 20 years in California — a lot of hospitals and recreation centers,” Mangarpan said.

Mangarpan has been with the city since Nov. 19 and lives in Sedona with his wife and their two sons.

The idea of having a multi-purpose, multi-generational recreation center in Cottonwood came from the Cottonwood Parks and Recreation Commission. The commission presented the proposal to the Cottonwood City Council during a work session in 2005.

For more information, call 634-8033 or the city’s parks and recreation department at 639-3200.

Lu Stitt can be reached at 634-8551 or e-mail to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


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