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Can Davis get a new rec center?
Officials looking for some ways to convince voters

LAYTON -- Officials in Layton, Clearfield and Clinton are concerned that children there don't have anything to do.

They believe a multipurpose community recreation center is the answer and that it needs to be built somewhere in north Davis County.Layton recreation supervisor Dave Thomas said a community center would fill a year-round niche for youths between 13 and 21, who need somewhere to go besides the mall or the movies.

"When school is out, if they are not in a team sport, there is nowhere for these kids to go," he said.

Layton, Clearfield and Clinton recreation departments now rent gym space from the Davis School District to provide basketball and volleyball programs.

But relying on the school gyms is stunting the growth of some recreation programs.

With only two elementary schools within Clinton, it is becoming increasingly difficult to serve the more than 1,000 girls and boys participating in that city's basketball program, said Clinton recreation director LeeAnn Powell.

Powell is hopeful that if Clinton doesn't step forward to build such a facility, a combination of cities in the area will.

She said she believes that with the population of Layton, combined with the populations of Sunset, West Point, Syracuse, Clinton and Clearfield, building two community centers could be justified.

But winning the support of the voters may be difficult.

Clearfield recreation director Tracy Heun said her city desperately needs an indoor recreational facility and a family leisure pool. The city's indoor municipal pool is 43 years old.

But in 1994, when Clearfield attempted to pass a $6.9 million bond to build such a recreation center, the measure was defeated by a 70 percent to 30 percent vote margin.

A Clearfield Parks and Recreation Committee continues to attempt to breathe new life into the old idea of getting a center built.

That effort, Heun admits, has been blunted -- at least in the short term -- since residents recently approved a $15 million general obligation bond to build a $9.5 million City Hall and Justice Center and a $5.5 million overpass at 200 South.

But the Clearfield Parks & Recreation Committee, Heun said, continues to meet monthly to discuss future plans and development for the possibility of a recreation center.