Jim Dawson is getting ideas from recreation centers in the region, including 417 Athletics in Mt. Vernon.

417 Athletics photo

Jim Dawson receives Council support for plan to build a recreation center and donate it the city

Bob Foos

The Webb City Council on Monday whole heartedly welcomed an offer by council member Jim Dawson and the Dawson Heritage Foundation to design and build a recreation center for the city.

As he did prior to designing the splash pad for the city, Dawson has been traveling to “get some understanding” of what it takes to build a recreation center. He’s toured facilities in Iola and Chanute, Kan., and has learned about one about to built in Raymore, Mo.

He says he’s most impressed with the 417 Athletics facility in Mt. Vernon and is “leaning heavily” on the expertise of Sydni Alexander, the director of operations.

Before going further, Dawson says, “I wanted to hear the council support it.” Although there will be no cost to the city for the building, the approved motion states the city will be responsible for operation and maintenance.

“With last night’s approval, I feel I can move faster.” Dawson says.

He’s planning a 16,500 square-foot structure that will contain a full-size basketball court, two volleyball courts, two pickle ball courts and a walking path. Besides that, there will be space for birthday parties.

The planned location is in King Jack Park northeast of the soccer fields between Dawson Drive and Hall Street.

“We’re getting more information every day,” he says about such things as flooring and equipment.

Regarding the building itself, he says the experience he got when designing and building the new American Legion and VFW hall will be helpful.

More than that, he adds, “I think we’ve built at least 20 of these,” going back to when Dawson Heritage Furniture was manufacturing in numerous buildings.

“It’s going to be a pretty sharp building, he says, with plans and conceptual drawings soon to be made public.

“Now we’ll get to moving.”