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Posted on: February 23, 2021

MAMMOTH LAKES COMMUNITY RECREATION CENTER TO BREAK GROUND THIS SPRING

On February 17, 2021 the Mammoth Lakes Town Council awarded the contract to the lowest responsive bidder, Hamel Contracting Inc., to build the new Community Recreation Center (CRC) at Mammoth Creek Park West. 

Staff would like to acknowledge the many people, organizations and recreation enthusiasts that advocated and worked towards achieving this significant milestone and defining moment for recreation in Mammoth Lakes. 

The Community Recreation Center will operate as an ice rink in winter with accessible community space, and in summer, proposed durable sport tiles will cover the rink creating a fully programmable and truly multi-use RecZone. 

The project will cost $14,831,040 to build, with groundbreaking scheduled this April and a ribbon-cutting ceremony planned in 2022. 

“As the previous chair of the Recreation Commission, I am extremely passionate about the value, benefits and affordability of community recreation, particularly for local youth. Combined with community driven and professionally branded programming, the new year-round facility operated by the Parks and Recreation Department will be a game-changer for recreation in Mammoth Lakes for both residents and visitors,” commented Mayor Bill Sauser. 

The new Community Recreation Center (CRC) at Mammoth Creek Park will be a 40,300 square foot Sprung Performance Arena enclosing an Olympic size rink for year-round recreation use. A Sprung Performance Arena was selected by the Town for its affordability, reduced operating and energy expenses, and green footprint.

Sprung structures are known for their exceptional durability - a necessity in a typical Mammoth Lakes winter - and for their proven long-term performance, quality ice surface, superior indoor climate control and brightness, and high ceilings, ideal for a multitude of sports.

“We’re thrilled Sprung is part of the team bringing Mammoth Lakes’ new recreation center to life,” says Jim Avery, Vice President of Sprung. “The clear span nature of our buildings makes for an ideal environment for virtually any sport or leisure activity year-round, and we congratulate Mammoth Lakes on the start of what’s sure to be a world-class facility for residents and visitors alike.” 

The Recreation Commission is the Town Council’s designated advisory body for the Community Recreation Center, and for the past seven years have worked to inform the programming and facility design through extensive public engagement that included community meetings, three public bids, several facility redesigns, and budget escalations. 

“The Recreation Commission’s primary role was developing community-driven “playbooks” to ensure that programming informed the design and functionality of the facility. All components of the project were designed to be complementary to and with each other, including connecting with natural features of the park and the new inclusive playground,” noted Betsy Truax, Chair, Mammoth Lakes Recreation Commission.

Recreation Commission - Community Recreation Center Goals

The Recreation Commission established the following goals in 2015 for the Community Recreation Center at Mammoth Creek Park: 

  • To enhance the quality of life for residents of Mammoth Lakes
  • To provide complementary multi-purpose, year-round, indoor and outdoor recreation opportunities accessible to all residents and visitors
  • To create a venue that encourages and facilitates community social interaction
  • To provide a ‘recreation destination’ that the entire community of Mammoth Lakes will actively enjoy, value and ultimately be proud to call Our Park
  • To provide enhanced and innovative program offerings that promote healthy and active lifestyles for all ages
  • To continue to allow for the passive enjoyment of the park that includes walking paths, open space and access to Mammoth Creek

Mammoth RecZone

In the summer months, the Olympic size arena will be transformed into a fully programmable and truly multi-use 20,000 square foot RecZone, and will be the new home for the expanding Parks and Recreation Department summer camps and programs. 

As the name illustrates, the RecZone will be THE place for summer recreation in Mammoth Lakes delivering all recreation, all the time! With proposed durable, sports tiles offering excellent traction, ball response and shock absorption, the RecZone will be fully programmed for a multitude of court sports, league play, tournaments and community events. 

“We want to provide a safe and fun place where kids can run free and play hard. The RecZone will satisfy the needs of our youth, young adults, and even the young at heart!” Stuart Brown, Mammoth Lakes Parks and Recreation Director.

The three gymnasium style courts will cater to sports such as basketball, futsal, pickleball, volleyball, badminton, dodgeball, and our expanding arena soccer programs. The facility will also accommodate adaptive sports such as wheelchair basketball, pickleball, tennis and roller hockey. 

Mammoth Ice Rink 

The ice rink will operate during the winter months from approximately November to April. The Olympic-size ice rink (100’x200’) will be fully enclosed, allowing for a reliable and quality ice experience. Broad community input from several user groups helped inform and build the Playbook for the ice rink. Daily drop-in or frequently programmed activities at the ice rink include public skating, youth/adult hockey, figure skating and curling. 

Home to the Mammoth Stars, Mammoth Lakes Youth Hockey (MLYH) is a small, but passionate USA Hockey sanctioned group of parents and hockey fans dedicated to fostering a love of the game here in Mammoth Lakes and the greater Eastern Sierra region. 

“Mammoth Lakes Youth Hockey’s mission is to provide the young people of the Eastern Sierra the opportunity to play ice hockey in a fun, fair, safe, and competitive environment,” stated President, Patrick Bernard. “With 68 current youth players on the ice, we are eager to move to a new, larger and more reliable rink to further the growth and love of youth ice hockey.” 

The ice rink will be programmed weekly for hockey/curling leagues and learn to skate/curl or play hockey sessions, with special monthly programs, events, birthday parties and regional curling tournaments. In addition, four locker rooms with player showers/restrooms will cater to the many youth and adult hockey players eager to travel to Mammoth Lakes to play in tournaments, and to improve their skills and endurance in professionally hosted hockey development camps. 

“Through some of the incredible people in Mammoth Lakes, and my friend Luke Fortune, we started the Calder Classic in 2015 with a few teams. We now host 16 teams over seven incredible days. The new rink will be an amazing asset for the community and opportunity for the local kids to possibly one day live out their dreams.” Kyle Calder, former Canadian professional ice hockey forward. Played in the NHL for the Chicago Blackhawks, Philadelphia Flyers, Detroit Red Wings, Los Angeles Kings and Anaheim Ducks. 

The CRC is the major recreation amenity at Mammoth Creek Park that includes three complementary components: the natural play area; National Demonstration Site inclusive playground and new minor-mobility hub with parking for up to 118 vehicles as well as access to Town-wide multi-use paths and free transit services.

Natural Play Area 

The popular natural play area will remain, featuring a large grass and boulder area for family play, relaxation and annual community events such as Pops in the Park, the Footloose Freedom Mile and the Thanksgiving Turkey Trot. Bordered by tree-lined and winding pathways adjacent to Mammoth Creek, the natural play area is supported by seasonal restrooms and several picnic tables.

Inclusive Playground 

Officially opened to the public on July 4, 2018, the 7,700 square foot, National Demonstration Site inclusive playground received an Outstanding Project Nomination from the California Association of Park and Recreation Commissioners & Board Members. The playground is the first truly inclusive playground incorporating research-based, best practices in the Eastern Sierra. The playground is a wonderful addition to our community amenities providing opportunities for the physical, social-emotional, sensory, cognitive, and communicative benefits of play for all. Each and every day, the inclusive playground demonstrates that play truly has no limits and through play, we can build stronger, healthier and happier communities.

NEW Minor Mobility Hub 

The minor mobility hub incorporates a new parking lot that includes 118 vehicle spaces (replacing the 42 existing spaces) with provisions for a bus shelter and expanded bike racks. ADA and clean air vehicle spaces will be provided and provisions for electric vehicle charging stations are planned. The site is centrally located along the Town Multi Use Path (MUP) and trail system (MLTS), offering multi-modal access to over 20 miles of multi-use paths connecting to destinations in town and beyond in the Inyo National Forest. Pedestrians along Old Mammoth Road, school children or visitors to the Mammoth Lakes Library can easily walk to the park or catch the complimentary Red or Purple line buses. 

CRC Funding 

The majority of funding (86%) for the construction of the Community Recreation Center and mini-mobility hub ($14.83 Million) was derived from Measure R and Measure U special use taxes. Other funding sources included donations from the Raise the Roof campaign, Park Development Impact Fees (DIF), Mello Roos, transit reserves and the Town’s general fund. Approved by the voters of Mammoth Lakes in 2008, Measure R is a special fund designated for use by the Town of Mammoth Lakes only for the planning, construction, operation, maintenance, programming and administration of trails, parks and recreation facilities managed by the Town of Mammoth Lakes. 

The Measure U or “Mammoth Lakes Mobility, Recreation and Arts & Culture Utility Users Tax Ordinance,” was approved by the voters in 2010 and funding is designated for the planning, construction, operation, maintenance, programming and administration of facilities and projects for Mobility, Recreation and Arts & Culture. These two-voter approved special use taxes are not available for other Town non-recreation strategic priorities.

“The Community Recreation Center will offer a more reliable and sustainable winter ice experience for our residents and visitors and be a driver for economic activity. Most importantly, it will enhance the community’s quality of life, further positioning Mammoth Lakes as a great place to live, work and play!” Stuart Brown, Parks and Recreation Director.

Additional Information 

Visit the new Community Recreation Center (CRC) website or contact Stuart Brown, Parks and Recreation Director at (760) 965-3696 to learn more about this latest year-round recreation amenity for the community of Mammoth Lakes and Eastern Sierra region.

Additional Info...