MV City Council discusses selling event center basketball courts 

MONTE VISTA — The Monte Vista City Council held a meeting on Thursday, Dec. 15. Members of the Recreation Committee at the Outcalt Event and Conference at SLV Ski-Hi Complex spoke about the possibility of selling the complex’s current basketball court flooring and purchasing new court flooring for the complex.

Karla Willschau addressed the council at the meeting.

“I was asked to be a part of this committee to make a recommendation in regard to the event center and the recreation program,” she said. “We have had a series of meetings for several months, and we had a lot of discussion in what happens in the event center, and how to try to find a really good balance with the events and with recreation. One of the biggest barriers that we saw is that floor, the gym floor, that was put down. We actually even took extra time so that the city could go ahead and get that floor put down, see what it was like, see how much time it took, and see what it would look like when it was done. What we found is, it takes a lot of manpower to get that done. It took 10 people 20 hours to put it together, that was about $3,400 worth of labor to put that court together. It takes six people 10 hours to take it apart, that was $1,020 worth of labor each time you take the court apart. Each panel weighs 180 pounds, so that’s a lot of weight. I think that what they found was, after they did all the work to put those together and tear it down — it’s very labor intensive. I think this is a risk. The other thing that is going to have to happen if we keep this court is, there is no transition from the court to the floor, that court is probably about 4 inches, so you would have to have to have some kind of a transition to go down from the court to the floor. Another thing is the court when it is put up is almost wall to wall, I am sure you were all able to go look at this when it was laid down. Then the hoops that came are super unwieldy to deal with. They are big, they are heavy, they take up a lot of storage space. The court itself takes up almost all the storage space, there’s not much storage space left after the courts been taken down. So, we are looking for a way to maximize the use of the building and not have any limitations, and that big floor, which was an NC double A approved floor, which is probably more then we need, seems to be a big limitation to being able to use this building effectively.”

Willschau explained how the committee had been exploring ways to sell the floor, as they believed it would be more effective to sell it to an event center where it could be utilized better.

“We did check with the manufacturer, and they are thinking that we could get $50,000 to $75,000 for the courts, and there is an interest in somebody buying the courts,” she said.

It was also discussed that the city paid around $300,000 for the court, and Willschau said that on the high end they might be able to get at least 50 percent of this back with the sale.

“We have also looked at buying a rubberized synthetic court as replacement, which would be easier to put together and tear down, not near as heavy. This would also be less risk to the staff getting injured while putting it together. We are estimating that we could get the new floor and hoops for about $90,000. We really do believe that we could sell that other court and not have to come up with more money for the other floor.”

Willschau said that if the court is not sold, that it will either be out a lot, and limit the use of the event center, or it will be in storage a lot.

Willschau also explained that there would be no good balance in trying to use the floor for a recreation and event center.

City of MV Recreation Director Dervin Taylor explained that a rubberized court would be easier and more functional.

“The synthetic floor, well, one person could put down this floor and pull it all up. We have used it before, at the college for the volleyball tournaments,” he said. “It’s a great floor. Time wise, it would take us maybe an hour, to put two to three volleyball courts down. These are tiles, so it’s not going to take up half of the storage room that we are using now. We have pictures of what these floors look like, and they look really nice, too.”

Committee member and Monte Vista School District Board of Education President Gary Wilkinson also spoke at the meeting.

“I'll approach this from the school capacity,” he said. “We have been using our facilities free of charge by the way, for a number of years. We open this to our youth, and it's hard. Right now, for basketball and the district, we have 10 teams trying to find a practice time just for those. We have three courts available but getting those times around school times and working with the refs, it’s hard. This is a need for our community and our youth.” 

City council asked what time frame they might be looking at when selling the floor, or if it would be necessary to sell by a certain date.

Willschau said that if they get an answer by February from council members that would be a good time frame.

City Manager GiGi Dennis spoke about the option of buying some seating and installing some bleachers later. Dennis also mentioned that with the sale, the basketball hoops would have to be sold as well, as they were designed specifically for the court floors that they would be selling.

Dennis explained to council members that deciding sooner than later would be helpful with the many events that would be pending at the event center for 2023.

Event Center Stephanie Ruybal explained that the heavier court could put a hinderance on some events coming up, including the annual ag conference and Crane Festival. 

The council unanimously agreed to sell the court. 

City Clerk Unita Vance announced that there were three letters of interest to fill the vacant City Council seat — Loren Howard, Mark Gonzales and Michelle Bradford.  All three spoke at the meeting and were thanked by the council but no decision was made at the meeting. 

The next City Council meeting will be held on Jan. 5, 2023.