Oceola Township officials are ready to pursue engineering on a new community center.

With the township’s current community center only being usable for meeting space, the Board of Trustees has been pursuing options on a new building that will put the focus on athletics. A couple months ago they received two proposals from developers for between $4.5 to $5-million dollars that would get them not only new meeting space, but also 3 full size gymnasiums for basketball courts, a workout facility, and an indoor track.

At Thursday’s meeting of the Board, Tim Church, Executive Director for the Howell Area Parks and Recreation Authority, said he went to the 5 entities in HAPRA’s jurisdiction to gauge their interest in helping Oceola Township support the maintenance costs for the building. Church said he was met with positive response from all boards, and that the biggest request was that when they came to ask for the money to be budgeted, that they have a full proposal with how the money will be used. Church estimates they will likely ask for somewhere between $10,000 and $15,000 per contributing entity for 3 years. As for operation costs, he was confident that they could run it within their current means.

The next step in the process is for engineering to be done on the site, which will help the Board learn if it is even possible to build their desired facility on the grounds of the current center, or if they have to find a new location. They elected to ask Tetra Tech to submit a proposal for engineering services, expecting it cost around $100,000. (MK)