BATESVILLE, AR (KAIT) - The new Batesville Aquatics and Community Center has garnered a lot of attention in its first three months of operations, bringing in a large amount of money so far.
Batesville Parks and Recreation Director Jeff Owens said more than 70,000 people have visited the facility in the first 70 days alone.
That number does not include attendance at special events, including a concert and a Mixed Martial Arts event, held at the community center.
"I'm going to guess somewhere between 85,000 and 90,000 have visited this building and we've been open for just a little over 70 days," Owens said.
Revenue generated from room rentals, daily use fees, and memberships is already over $500,000, surpassing Owens's expectations.
"We were shooting for in the first six months to have about 4,000 to 4,500 members," Owens said. "This morning I checked and we were sitting at 5,300."
He said those numbers prove a place like this was needed in the community.
Owens said the best part, though, is that the facility is actually changing lives through some of their activities.
"A lady came up and told me the other day that she is going out and getting her own groceries again, being able to drive her car just from the mobility she has regained from participating in stuff here," he said. "That's the gratifying part, knowing that we're helping change people's lives."
Owens said helping people lead healthier lives was a key motivation for building the facility.
The building also has a positive economic impact on the entire city of Batesville since people are traveling from different towns to use it, therefore spending money in Batesville, officials say.
At the town's last city council meeting, aldermen heard the first reading of an ordinance that will establish a fund to maintain the aquatics and community center.
It would direct $75,000 each year from the city's half-cent sales and use tax passed in 2012 to go toward the facility's maintenance.
The ordinance was held for a second and third reading.
Copyright 2017 KAIT. All rights reserved.