Recreation Center & Library
After two years of public engagement, the City Council adopted a new 10-Year Parks and Recreation Master Plan in October 2020. The highest priority project in this plan was a new multigenerational recreation center. Additionally, the City Council had been discussing a new library facility during their annual capital improvement project meetings for many years. During a City Council workshop in February 2021, staff proposed co-locating these two proposed facilities into a joint recreation center and library to share spaces for efficiency. In May 2021, the city contracted with Barker Rinker Seacat Architecture to conduct a feasibility study to determine what elements should be included, such as a walk/jog track, fitness equipment, indoor aquatics, rental space and more.
A steering committee composed of members from the City Council, Library Advisory Board, Mansfield Park Facilities Development Board, city staff and Mansfield residents participated in more than 60 hours of workshops, public meetings and facility tours to assist the consultant with the process. The public engagement process began in June 2021 with surveys, focus groups and public meetings held throughout the summer months.
Feasibility Study & Proposed Concepts
A final report and proposed concept for the Recreation Center and Library was completed and presented to City Council based on the public feedback, staff and expert research and decisions made by the steering committee. You can view that full report on the documents tab of this page. Images above are conceptual renderings created to illustrate what the proposed center could look like if constructed according to the proposal.
Proposed facility amenities include:
Recreation & Fitness
Cardio & weight areas
Indoor Aquatic Center
Lazy river & play area
Collections for all ages
Shared Community Spaces*
300-person event hall
Cafe & work/study areas
*These areas would be free and open to the public during operating hours, with the exception of the event hall, which will be available for rent.
The recreation, fitness and aquatics areas would have a membership fee in line with similar city-owned facilities in neighboring communities. The feasibility study proposed resident rates of $20/month for children or seniors, $35/month for adults and $65/month for a family of up to six. Those rates are NOT final and would be reviewed further in the development process if the facility were constructed, and ultimately must be approved by City Council.
Based on recommendations from the Citizen Bond Committee, Mansfield City Council selected the joint Recreation Center and Library as one of the projects to be placed on the May 7, 2022 bond election. See more about the proposal and other bond propositions on the bond website here.
If approved by voters in May, design could begin this summer and the facility could open in four years.
Dec. 2021 Update
During the work session of the City Council's September 13th meeting, the consultant and city staff presented the findings from phase one of the project. This included the proposed amenities and spaces, the size of the facility, estimated project timeline and the projected cost to construct the facility. The City Council gave unanimous support to proceed with the second phase of the project where the operational proforma was developed and conceptual images and floor plans were created. The City Council also gave direction to staff to present the proposed facility to the Citizen Bond Committee for consideration on the May 2022 bond election.
Phase two of the feasibility study was completed in November 2021 and the findings were presented to the City Council at their December 13th meeting during a work session. That presentation and the final feasibility study report are available on the Videos & Documents tab of this page.
Sept. 2021 Update
City staff and project consultants presented the proposed amenities and preliminary plans to City Council in a work session update on Monday, Sept. 13. With their unanimous support of the work completed by the study thus far, the steering committee will proceed to the next steps, which include finalizing the facility features, developing a site plan, layout and exterior concepts/design. The full concept will be released with the completion of the study in November. Visit the documents tab of this page to view the proposed amenities as presented to Council.
Aug 2021 Update
The steering committee, staff and consultants are currently using the public feedback and industry data/standards to narrow down the proposed amenities and vision for the center. An update to City Council is currently planned for mid-September; watch for more information as it is available.
For additional details, check the FAQ tab for presentation materials and meeting recordings. If you have additional questions, please complete a form below and staff will contact you as soon as possible.
Frequently Asked Questions
Have a question not addressed here? Send us a message on the form below and staff will get back to you asap!
What would be included in the proposed Recreation Center and Library?
The proposed center has spaces for fitness (cardio and weight equipment, classroom spaces, gym and indoor track), aquatics (indoor pool, slides, lazy river, lap lanes and play elements) and a library (collections for all ages and subject groups, study spaces and program rooms) all in one building. It also includes shared community spaces like an indoor playground, a makerspace, a 300-person event hall, meeting and party rooms, a large deck and an outdoor amphitheater, among other elements. If approved, the first steps would be creating the final building design and confirming what amenities will be included.
A steering committee of residents, city leaders, staff and experts met for nine months to combine their expertise and ideas with resident feedback gathered through surveys, meetings and engagement efforts to determine what amenities should be included.
Where would the proposed Recreation Center and Library be located?
The proposed site is a centrally located, 12-acre, city-owned property within the Shops at Broad. It is also located along the Walnut Creek Linear Trail, which would give direct access to that additional recreational element.
Isn’t there already a recreation facility?
Yes. The Mansfield Activities Center (MAC) was built in 2001 for the existing population and had three expansions planned but never implemented. It does not offer fitness or aquatics amenities that are often found in city facilities. The expansion or construction of a new MAC was the number-one requested item on both the 2009 and 2020 Parks Master Plans.
How much would memberships cost?
A feasibility study determined the recreation center could have resident fees of approximately $65 per month for families, $35 per month for adults and $20 per month for children and seniors. Non-residents would be allowed to use the facility but would likely pay higher rates. However, the fees will not be determined until after the final design is complete. Once a fee schedule is determined, it will go to the City Council for approval. The library portion of the library and recreation center would not have membership fees.
Why wouldn’t the facility be free to use?
Bond proceeds would pay for the design and building of the facility, but annual operating costs such as utilities, staffing, maintenance and upgrades would need to be offset by fees from those who use the facility’s services.
Would the proposed facility have aquatics?
The proposed joint recreation center and library is planned to include an aquatics area with lap lanes, a therapeutic pool for lessons and free swim, a lazy river, water slides and a playground area with zero-depth entry. It is expected to have party rooms adjacent to the aquatics area for birthdays and other rental opportunities.
Will the new facility include seniors?
The center will be open to all ages, but current plans do not include a dedicated senior space or classrooms. The goal is to convert the existing MAC into an exclusive senior/active adult center that will include the gym, fitness, classroom/gathering space and more. That facility is not being planned right now, but those discussions will begin if the new recreation center is approved by voters.
What about the current library expansion?
The library was built in 2001 for the existing population at the time. The current library expansion will provide library space for the immediate future. If voters approve the proposed joint recreation center and library, it will be four to five years before the space is available for use and the existing building will be repurposed for other city use.
How much will the whole project cost? How much will it raise my taxes?
The concept as designed in the feasibility study has an estimated total cost of $78 million. You can see more about the possible tax rate impact on the bond website here.
Why don’t we fix the streets (or other project)? Why don’t we build more trails (or other park projects)?
There are lots of great ideas! While this project is focused on a new recreation center and library, a future bond election could include projects from numerous city departments such as police, fire, and streets. A bond election will allow residents to vote for exactly what they would like to see funded. The recreation center is our primary focus for parks and recreation; it was the highest priority in the 2020 master plan and we can reach many different users with one facility. We do have a number of other park projects already underway and future ones outlined in our master plan, which you can see on our website.
Will this new facility compete with local businesses?
Most large cities have multiple recreation centers and private fitness clubs that all exist successfully. Each serves a different purpose and target audience, and the goal is not to compete with any private business but to serve residents who would like different options. City-owned facilities are typically more affordable and more family-focused than a private gym, which is used by more serious fitness enthusiasts. Additionally, the library and meeting spaces could offer business services, technology training and other services that will help small businesses get off the ground, helping grow the local economy.
How can I learn more/get involved?
Visit the Mansfield 2022 Bond website for more details about the projects, including the Recreation Center and Library, and upcoming public meetings.