City, school partner to offer public gym space


When Venture Elementary was going up, the city and the school district partnered in adding additional gym space to form a partnership between the two entities.

“The partnership allowed us to address the need within our park and rec program and also helped the school district build a bigger gym than they would have built to use for school activities,” said Mayor John Lawler. “With the increased size, the gym has enough space to play three basketball games at the same time versus just two.”

Superintendent Jennifer Lowery said the partnership with the city has gone well so far. They have had planning meetings to communicate and come up with agreements on how the facility will be used.

“It’s been some planning and communication and agreements on how we ensure that everyone knows how to take care of the facility,” Lowery said. “They’ve been wonderful to work with. It’s been a good process and I’m sure we’ll have to learn as we go.”

Tea Park & Rec started its first program in the gym with co-ed volleyball in November. Tea Park & Rec director Travis Harford put out a survey and volleyball and walking topped the list for interest.

He noted the city never had the facility to offer indoor programs. With the Venture gym, they can expand programs for adults.

“(We) never really had the facilities before to do something along those lines. Park and rec really wanted to try and expand to the adult audience. That was one of the things we could do,” Harford said.

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