In the FY2017 budget process, Recreation Services proposed $263,710 in reductions to meet the 5% target. At the same time, additional program requests were made for $288,477 for service expansion either fully or partially offset by fees. In determining reductions, Recreation Services was consistent in continuing the decrease in hours at the smaller recreation centers. In previous budget years, open gym time and operating hours were reduced at Patrick Henry and Barrett Recreation Centers, with Barrett closed in the evenings. The larger centers offer more programs and do not operate exclusively for walk-ins. The open time for Nannie J. Lee is also fully funded by tax dollars without a fee offset.
In making recommendations to the City Manager, the Healthy and Thriving Resident Focus group determined that a priority of discussion would be to support the Children and Youth Master Plan. As a result of these discussions, the Focus Group recommended only accepting $161,992 of the reductions proposed by Recreation Services. Additionally, it was determined to fully fund new program requests. Two of those were the Youth Achieving Greatness after school program and the Youth Camp Adventure summer program both held at Nannie J. Lee. The open gym program was accepted as a reduction because it does not serve school age children, as the walk-in participants are typically not students. At this center, the participants for open gym sign in on an attendance sheet. These sheets are not stored for more than 30 days; however, weekday walk-ins are estimated at 15-25, and Saturday walk-ins are estimated at 2-8.
RPCA anticipates other fee supported programs and rental activities to take up the evening time at Nannie J. Lee. Open gym hours are still available at Charles Houston, Cora Kelly, Mt. Vernon and William Ramsay Recreation Centers, and there are 5 outdoor lighted basketball courts available for public use.