Committee focuses on meeting present, future needs of college, Carbon County
At the panel's January meeting, the College of Eastern Utah's long-term planning committee discussed ways to meet current community and educational challenges while assisting future growth.
The LTCP is comprised of representatives from the Carbon County Commission, Price city, CEU, the local business sector and public schools.
LTCP representatives have expressed hope that cooperation will maximize available resources and increase local support for developing economic, educational and recreational opportunities for the county citizens and college students.
According to CEU academic vice president Cliff Coppersmith and Price Mayor Joe Piccolo, Ryan Thomas has been a tremendous catalyst in building partnerships between the college and community at large.
The LTCP submitted 12 to 13 written goals eight months ago. At the top of the list is a new facility that will combine a library, fine arts and recreation.
According to Coppersmith and Piccolo, the facility would mutually benefit the county and CEU.
"The Price City Library is completely inadequate for a community this size," stated Coppersmith."It has limitations in square footage and accessibilityÃ¯Â¿Â½ and [CEU's] library has shortcomings. That's why our interestsÃ¯Â¿Â½come together,"
"We want to provide the community with a facility that willÃ¯Â¿Â½add to the programs already in useÃ¯Â¿Â½be utilized by a larger population of the community in a central location," stated Piccolo.
One option would be to add or hook onto the city's current recreation, wave and swimming pool area. The tennis court space could be used for the recreation center.
"The library either would be collocated with the [recreation] center or possibly located across the street on the corner, and when we get our fine arts center, that music building will come down. That corner conceivably could be open for a library complex," stated Coppersmith.
Salt Lake City's new library inspired one multimilloion dollar project envisioned by the LTCP. The project is worth pursuing, according to Coppersmith and Piccolo.
"In 25 years, conceivably CEU could have 5,OOO students or more," said Coppersmith. "Eventually, Price could become a bedroom community for Utah Valley.
"If CEU grows, then Price city will grow and we do want to grow. We don't necessarily want to be a metropolitan area, but we do need to sustain some growth in order to be able to continue with the quality of life that we've grown used to," noted Piccolo.
Population increases demand a greater quantity and variety of services, recreational opportunities and economic development. LTCP representatives want to be prepared for the demands.
"You can't just think about accommodating the needs of today, you have to think, in this case, about the next quarter of a century," said Coppersmith.
Funding and prioritization may prove to be substantial roadblocks in the construction of the project.
LTCP representatives are debating whether a particular agency or combination should bear the expense of the center.
There is also debate among representatives as to whether the Price City Library, Museum or recreational center should take first priority.
"We're in the discussion and information phase of planning, nothing has been specifically decided," stated Coppersmith.
The LTCP hopes to move from the discussion phase to the decision and process phases within the coming months.
A project prioritization list is the next step for the LTCP. The list will be followed by an application to the Utah Community Impact Board for a planning grant and feasibility study along with a proposal to the division of facilities and construction management.
"I think it's important to dream, but not as important as it is to sell the dream to your friends," commented Piccolo.