Multigenerational Community Center

Project Description

  • More than four years have passed since Brownsburg Parks worked with consultants, Town officials and community members to develop a feasibility study for a multi-generational community center to be located in the heart of downtown within Arbuckle Acres Park.Over the last few years, Brownsburg Parks has collected additional community input on indoor and outdoor recreation needs. This input, collected through a statistically valid community needs assessment as well as informal surveys, has not varied significantly from the original needs assessment that drove the 2014 feasibility study. Community center components including fitness/wellness facilities, indoor swimming pool, indoor running/walking track, and multi-activity courts have been identified by residents as the most important features of a multi-generational community center.

    In 2017, the Town Council and Park Board signed a letter of intent to work toward a capital partnership with IU Health West Hospital. Negotiations have been ongoing over the last year to develop the partnership which will consist of  IU Health West Hospital sharing space within the multi-generational community center. IU Health West Hospital’s programming would include physician services, wellness education classes, cardiac rehabilitation and physical therapy.

    In August 2018, the Park Board and Town Council agreed to approve funding for staff to proceed toward pre-design of the multi-generational community center. This is the next reasonable step in the planning phase and will further engage key stakeholders to formulate a defined facility concept and funding plan for the construction and operation of the center.

    The vision for a multi-generational community center is to serve more than fitness, aquatics and recreation needs. It will be important to design a flexible, multi-use facility that can offer a unique gathering place in the center of downtown for all ages. This facility will add critically needed indoor community space that can support community partners. We anticipate this facility not only increasing the number of  health and wellness opportunities in Brownsburg, but also strengthening community ties, ultimately increasing the level of pride residents have for our town.

Project Goals

  • Re-engaging the community to produce an updated and enhanced concept, including to-scale floor plans with illustrative renderings.
  • Producing site, staffing and maintenance analyses based on the type of programming and amenities the community desires.
  • Updating the 2014 financial plan and pro forma to determine a responsible cost point that taxpayers can support. This plan will:
    • Assess multiple types of funding solutions including but not limited to user fees to offset operational expenses, capital partnerships and sponsorships, grassroots fundraising efforts, and a potential bond.
    • Reflect funding for construction and ongoing operations and maintenance, as well as the desired cost-recovery levels generated by user fees.o

Community Center Task Force Meeting Recap
Thursday, January 31, 2019
Tech Room, Town Hall

Staff and Consultants
Travis Tranbarger – Director, Brownsburg Parks
Jon Blake – Assistant Director of Operations and Development, Brownsburg Parks
Phil Cornelius – Assistant Director of Recreation Services, Brownsburg Parks
Amber Lane – Administrative Services Manager, Brownsburg Parks
Mary Louise Bewley – Community Engagement Manager, Brownsburg Parks
Shelby Abner – Community Engagement Coordinator
Cari Palma – President, Park Board
Phil Utterback – Vice President, Park Board
Tom Poulos – Williams Architects (consultant)
Leon Younger – PROS Consulting (consultant)

Task Force Members
Eddie Ferguson – Pastor, Parkside Bible Church, Northwest Community Park
Alicia Johnson – State Bank of Lizton and Parks user
Michael Klitzing – Director, Carmel Clay Parks & Recreation/previous Brownsburg Park Board
Peter Moyer – Fitness programming user
Denise Robinson –Director, Brownsburg Public Library
Matthew Serd –Owner, Brownsburg Fitness/The Compound Indy
Elizabeth Shaul – Parks user
Cathy Stoll – Marketing Communications and Community Outreach Director, IU Health
Larry Waggoner – Parks user
Christie Wickline – Director of Fitness, Connection Pointe Church

Mr. Tranbarger provided an overview of the Task Force’s purpose before turning the presentation
over to Mr. Poulos and Mr. Younger. They provided a brief history of Brownsburg Parks’ 2014
attempt to create a community center, including describing the feasibility study and needs
assessment conducted. Since these documents were created, the Park Board and Town Council
have determined the focus of this redesign is to 1) develop a stronger analysis of the building
structure, 2) understand the detailed cost of the construction and maintenance of the facility, 3)
analyze the public support of the multigenerational community center, and 4) deepen public
involvement in the process.

In 2018, to address the concerns of the Park Board and Town Council, PROS Consulting engaged
community members in a variety of outreach activities, from online and in-person surveys at
multiple park events to focus groups with Town leaders. The task force was informed it would
incorporate these suggestions and concerns into their work and assist Park staff and consultants
in finding solutions.

Mr. Poulos and Mr. Younger then outlined the process for engaging the community in interactive
meetings in March and April to help create the pre-design documents for the multigenerational
community center. On March 6, attendees will answer key questions to help the design team determine the priorities for the facility. Over the course of three days in April (4/23-25), participants will voice their desires and suggestions to designers and architects who will take notes and create rough concepts of the facility design. At the end of the process, the community should understand how the center will look and how much it will cost to build, maintain and operate. Key questions should be answered, including: How much of the facility will be programmed versus open to the membership? Will the facility work best as a program center or a program and membership center? How much money will the community be willing to pay for the multigenerational community center?

The Task Force also was provided with specific expectations for participation, including attending all task force meetings, engaging people within their spheres of influence to learn about the multigenerational community center concept and bringing questions from community members back to the task force, touring community centers, and helping to dispel misinformation in the community at-large.

Once the pre-design documents are created, Brownsburg Parks will continue to seek community feedback through its “Your Parks, Your Future” campaign. Residents and park users will be able to comment on the pre-design documents at parks events and activities, Town events, and online.

Members were advised that they would make a recommendation to the Park Board and Town Council at the end of the pre-design process. The goal of this project is to be a multi-functional, multigenerational facility.

After the presentation, the program was opened up for questions from the group. Questions included:
How much acreage is available for the facility? Arbuckle Acres Park has six (6) acres available; there is space available at the Tague Property at 315 W. Main St. and that will be vetted as a potential site for the facility during the pre-design process.

Has the design of the proposed community center changed since IU Health has come on board as a capital partner? The pre-design concept that is being developed through this process will involve IU Health West to determine how their proposed services and needs will fit into the overall concept.

Will the community center include outdoor space for youth sports? The 2019-23 Brownsburg Parks Master Plan focuses on multi-use, flexible outdoor space. This need could be met at the Tague Property. Brownsburg Parks also is exploring property on the north side of town to meet this need.

Do other communities face the issue Brownsburg has of Town of Brownsburg residents paying property taxes to help fund this project, but users from other areas (like Brown and Lincoln Townships) using the facility without providing property tax support? In Carmel, they adopted a resident/non-resident rate but were not meeting cost-recovery goals and their membership flatlined. They changed to one membership fee regardless of residence and achieved 100 percent cost recovery and improved membership. The question our community leaders must answer is: What is the priority? Is the priority to provide equity amongst those who pay property taxes to the Town and those who don’t when it comes to covering operational costs? Or is the priority to bring in membership revenue to cover more of the operating costs which can lower the costs to property tax payers?

What is Town leadership’s expectation regarding cost recovery? Brownsburg Parks 2014-18 Master Plan established a cost recovery policy based on programs and facilities. For example, the Active Adult Senior programs has a cost recovery level of 75 percent of direct expenses. Child care and camp programs have a 100 percent cost recovery expectation. It is up to the task force and the community to establish what they believe is the best cost recovery level for this facility.

What are the key elements of a multigenerational facility? There are usually spaces for aquatics, a gym, a fitness area, and a senior program center. Spaces can double and become multi-use. We want to look at universal design, meaning ages ranging from seniors to preschoolers can be included in all of the program spaces and not feel excluded.

How will maintenance costs be determined? For example, updating fitness equipment or pool costs. This pre-design process will look at cost models to ensure Town leadership knows upfront how much capital upkeep will be for the various components.

Additional Comments:
• Task Force members are asked to email questions to
• A suggestion was made to create a hashtag to share information about the community center on social media, possibly #BBurgMultiGen.

Meeting Schedule
March 6: 6:30 pm, interactive public education session in the Council Room at Town Hall
April 23-25: 6:30 pm, interactive public planning sessions at the Fire Territory Headquarters
April through October: Task Force and consultants will refine the design and presentation. Staff
will gather public feedback at a variety of Park/Town events.
May and June: Task Force facility tours
September: Prepare for presentations to Park Board and Town Council in October
October: Presentations to Park Board and Town Council

Community Center Task Force Meeting Recap
Wednesday, August 21, 2019
Tech Room, Town Hall



Staff and Consultants:
Travis Tranbarger – Director, Brownsburg Parks
Jon Blake – Assistant Director of Operations and Development, Brownsburg Parks
Phil Cornelius – Assistant Director of Recreation Services, Brownsburg Parks
Amber Lane – Administrative Services Manager, Brownsburg Parks
Mary Louise Bewley – Community Engagement Manager, Brownsburg Parks
Shelby Abner – Community Engagement Coordinator, Brownsburg Parks
Tom Poulos – Williams Architects (consultant)

Frank Parisi – Williams Architects (consultant)
Leon Younger – PROS Consulting (consultant)


Task Force Members:
Alicia Johnson – State Bank of Lizton and Parks user
Peter Moyer – Active Adult fitness programming user
Denise Robinson –Director, Brownsburg Public Library
Matthew Serd –Owner, Brownsburg Fitness/The Compound Indy
Elizabeth Shaul – Parks user
Christine Wickline – Director of Fitness, Connection Pointe Church

Lindsey Jackson – Former Park Board member, park user

Laura Bowman — IU Health West Hospital


Mr. Tranbarger provided a brief update on the project before turning the presentation over to the consultants. Mr. Younger from PROS Consulting provided an update to the Business Plan for the community center. The Business Plan highlighted two types of center models: a program center with no membership fees, and a membership model with daily rates available. Both models require a minimum of 50,000 square feet to achieve cost recovery goals.

A program center requires the facility to be programmed for 80% of the operating hours, leaving 20% open for private events and transitions between programs. Daily rates for open gym and swim are usually available for up to 3 hours a day. Historical data shows that the cost recovery capability of this model is between 60%-70%.

A membership-based organization requires a fee to join, which can be different based on household sizes and member age. Program offerings are a part of the membership with the availability of daily passes for non-members. Historical data shows the cost recovery capability of this model is between 70%-80%.

Key Town leadership have indicated interest in a facility that keeps the Town’s tax rate neutral and that can be built out over time. Capital partners, IU Health West Hospital and K1ds Count, would have spaces that serve their needs but can also provide additional services that strengthen the overall program offerings to the community. In any model, the following items must be included to achieve maximum cost recovery: pool, fitness (group programming), two gymnasiums and running track, cardio and free weights.

Mr. Poulos from Williams Architects updated the Task Force on the draft designs. The April design workshops resulted in two options. Option A, the community preferred design, is 86,600 square feet. The total space is a 7,000 square foot increase from the 2014 feasibility study. The budget selected was $33,800,000 – $37,500,000.

Option B is 69,300 square feet with a budget of $27,500,000 to $30,600,000.

Discussions with community leaders and Town officials have lead to the creation of Option C. This option would be between 40,000-50,000 square feet and cost between $20,000,000 – $23,000,000. This budget could eliminate the need for a referendum because the Town of Brownsburg and Brownsburg Parks could finance the majority of the project without the need to request an increase in property taxes  including the help from potential capital partners. This smaller, programcentered facility  has a possible cost recovery of between 60% – 70%. Town officials have indicated it is important to plan for expansion opportunities for all three options.

The design team will move forward with refining options A and B as well as developing Option C using the criteria and design principles established by the community. The facility must be at least 50,000 square feet to recover a majority of the operating costs.

The design team presented a cost comparison analysis for facilities in Carol Stream, IL; West Lafayette, IN; Westfield, IN; and Virginia Beach, VA.

Questions for the design team from the Task Force:

Can common spaces be used as programmable space? Common areas in the facility would include a possible indoor play structure and lobby seating which would not be conducive to programmable space.

How do the capital partners feel about the scaled-down version of the facility? Park officials are still in negotiations with capital partners to establish their needs.

Options A and C offer very drastic differences. Why not develop Option B? As the team develops the design, they will take the feedback from Town officials and could scale down Option A and scale-up Option C making both closer to Option B. It would be important to design Option C with growth or expansion opportunities to accommodate the anticipated steady growth in population.

Is the Town Council supportive of this project? The Town Council, in conjunction with the Park Board, voted to fully fund the predesign process to explore the options for the community center.

Next Steps:

  • September 2019 – Facility Tours
  • September –October 2019 – Design Refinement
  • November 2019 – Combined Town Council and Park Board Presentation to discuss findings and recommendations and to give approval or direction moving forward.

Pro-Forma: Link

Packet: Link

Presentation: Link (Please note this is a large file and will take time to load.)

Multigenerational Community Center Concept Video: Link

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