“After establishing the permanent committee, the next thing would be to hear from an expert on marketability and feasibility for the community center,” McNabb explained. “That will give us some ideas on cost per square foot. It’s probably the best way to begin the process of moving forward.”

A new committee has been approved at the request of Camdenton Mayor John McNabb to establish a permanent group to tackle the challenges of designing and planning a new community center located on N. Business Route 5.

McNabb had previously appointed a community center focus group, comprised of six members of the local community along with city staff, who have met twice in June and July to review and discuss surveys contracted by Camdenton in 1997, 2010 and 2016 in regards to needs and priorities for a community center.

All six members will be asked to join the new permanent committee along with two to four additional members from the community and board of aldermen.

The previous members were comprised of Gary Braman, representing the park board; Trish Creach of the Camdenton Area Chamber of Commerce; Mike Fink, representing the recreation group from Community Christian Church; Dr. Michael Ledbetter of Lake Regional and a local business owner; Dr. Ryan Neal, Assistant Superintendent of Camdenton R-III; and Debbie Williams, representing the interest of local art groups.

“This group did a very good job of being engaged. I also felt like the group brought opinions and ideas of a wide variety of different segments throughout the community,” McNabb told aldermen July 18. “It’s been pretty well confirmed to a certain extent these are the things we’re looking at.”

According to minutes from the committee’s two meetings, priorities identified included meeting rooms, kitchen area, walking track, lobby area, fitness areas and a large, high ceiling multi-purpose room.

“After establishing the permanent committee, the next thing would be to hear from an expert on marketability and feasibility for the community center,” McNabb explained. “That will give us some ideas on cost per square foot. It’s probably the best way to begin the process of moving forward.”

A motion was made by Alderwoman Sandy Osborne to approve the formation of the committee, which was seconded and duly passed by the board.

In February 2017, the City of Camdenton finished the demolition and excavation of the former Zodiac Lanes and Glenn Block buildings to make way for the future community center. The city had previously announced in December 2015 a contract with Sanvid Investments for the purchase of approximately 3.1 acres to be used for the construction of a future community center.

The former owner of the old bowling alley Zodiac Lanes, also at the location, agreed to demolish that building as per an agreement with the City of Camdenton. The total cost of the purchase and demolition was $290,000.The Glenn Block building was not included in that contract contingency, and the city bid out the demolition separately, receiving bids on Dec. 20, 2016 for the project.

The community center was actively discussed and planned prior to 2008 with a Community Center Committee appointed at the time to develop plans. Since that time, the Camdenton Board of Aldermen has set aside approximately $140,000 to $200,000 annually for the construction and overall project. The city now has approximately $1.6 million set aside for the project.

The firm RDG Planning and Design who worked on the update of the city’s comprehensive plan noted that the site is ideal for not only the construction of the community center but also as a foundation for future development of the North Business 5 corridor.