A community center is one step closer to being a reality for Missoulians

Feb 15, 2022

Montana Right Now

After years of planning for a new community center, Missoula's Parks and Recreation Board voted unanimously to adopt a proposal for the Currents Center for Recreation and Creativity.

Director of Parks and Rec, Donna Gaukler, said the Center is designed to complement existing services in the community like the YMCA and the ZACC>

"It doesn't repeat what's already out there; or if it does, it only repeats it like gym space, because we have such desperate need in our community that we are regularly turning people away," Gaukler said.

The Montana Budget and Policy Center said the current supply of childcare opportunities meets only 50% of demand. Parks and Recreation officials said the Community Center won't compete with licensed providers, but plans to help bridge the gap between childcare and out-of-school care.

"It's multi-generational. It's a place where we all come together, it's a place that provides unique amenities that we really don't have exactly the same thing anywhere else," Gaukler said.https://2449d65c182cc2838fad1c68a96fc99c.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html

Unique amenities like a ballroom for dance classes and performances, rooms for meetings and events and a multi-purpose gym.

Gaukler said she hopes it will be a place that bring Missoulians of all backgrounds together.

"Sometimes we forget that recreation is really about being social together. As much as it is in keeping bodies and our minds healthy, we keep our social sense happy and engaged," she said.

The next step is to go before City Council to ask for adoption of the Conceptual Master Plan. Gaukler said that will allow them to continue to build partnerships and research funding options.

You can click here to learn more about the project and next steps that are posted on Engage Missoula's website.

Montana Budget & Policy Center

Shaping policy for a stronger Montana.

MBPC is a nonprofit organization focused on providing credible and timely research and analysis on budget, tax, and economic issues that impact low- and moderate-income Montana families.