HELENA — The Helena Regional Sports Association (HRSA) is continuing to make progress in efforts to build a new multisport complex in Montana’s capital city.
On Tuesday, HRSA will give a presentation before a joint work session of Lewis and Clark County and ht eCity of Helena. They hope to get the City’s and County’s to support them in their efforts to build a multisport complex where the current YMCA is.
HRSA President Ben Tintnger says the complex-- especially the pool aspect-- is desperately needed in the community.
“We’re the only AA school in Montana that doesn’t have a pool for our swim teams to practice and to compete in,” said Tintinger. “Our Lions Swim Team has the same problem. Whenever they do a home meet they have to take it over to Butte and use Butte facilities.”
The plan is to construct the new facility in phases, with the new pool being a priority.
An indoor pool also happens to be a top priority of the City’s Parks and Recreation Master plan.
HRSA have already completed a preliminary architectural report, a feasibility report and an economic impact study. Preliminary findings estimate the facility could bring $1.3 million into the community annually from sports tournaments alone.
Tintinger says the goal is to raise the majority of the money needed to build the facility through private donations. He hopes the city and county will consider helping support a bond that would then cover the remainder of funds should it be needed.
“In the end we hope we’ll have a least two-thirds of the money through private donations. More if we can get it,” said Tintinger.
Although the full project is estimated to cost upwards of $30 million, Tintingers notes that the project is very feasible with community backing and the support from local governments.
“It’s an expensive project, but we’re not going to try to bite off all that off at once,” explained Tintinger. “We’re going to phase it and use the existing YMCA to build around and remodel.”
Tintinger recognizes that it is a challenge for the community, City of Helena and Lewis and Clark County to get fully on board and agree to support the project where there are still a lot of variables.
“The thing we’re looking for right now is a can-do attitude,” said Tintinger. “I just hope that’s something we can do here in Helena. We’re pretty successful in building the first phase of new schools here in the last few years, and hopefully we have the vision to be able to look at this project and say this is something our community really needs.”