Recreation center continues to raise questions |

Recreation center continues to raise questions

Truckee’s proposed Community Recreation Center may still break ground this summer, but planning commissioners this week continued to raise concerns about plans for the ambitious public project.

The Truckee Donner Recreation and Park District center is planned for the 13.5-acre site between Donner Pass Road, Interstate 80, and Highway 89 North. The first phases of construction would include a double gymnasium, community facilities, babysitting and preschool facilities, classrooms and, eventually, a theater.

During lengthy deliberations at a meeting Wednesday night, the planning commission was reluctant to recommend denying the project, but produced a list of concerns to be addressed at an upcoming town council hearing.

Primary among the commissioners’ concerns was the building’s proximity to Truckee Tahoe Airport flightpaths and safety of the building in the event of a plane crash.

“I am excited about the [recreation] center, but I just wouldn’t be able to live with myself when one of these new jets crashes into it,” said Planning Commissioner Kurt Reinkens.

Chris Vicencio of NTD Stichler architecture, presenting for the development team, said designers have taken many steps to increase the building’s security in the event of a crash. Safety features include building the gymnasium to school building standards, doubling the fire sprinklers, nearly doubling the required exits, and increasing the strength of the facility’s roof, Vicencio said.

But the planning commission wanted more hard data on safety.

“I just want to see the assurance of safety somehow quantified,” said Commissioner Tom Murphy.

Dale Creighton with SCO Planning and Engineering said the development team would provide more analysis of the safety features of the building at the town council hearing.

The planning commissioners also wanted to see details about sustainable and green building practices, elimination of all upward lighting, and further consideration of the 150-space parking lot’s location and appearance.

Vicencio said the project will not be seeking Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification, but will use a sustainable approach with features that take advantage of natural solar lighting and heating, an elevator that captures energy as it descends, and other energy-efficient design elements.

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