By JEFF LOUX and STEVE RANDALL
Editor’s Note: Becca Loux, Moonshine associate editor and news reporter, is the daughter of Jeff Loux.
In billiards, a combination bank shot involves a cue ball striking other balls one after another, bouncing off rails and somehow landing the ball in the right pocket. It requires an impressive level of alignment. Truckee has its bank shot in motion, lining up the projects at the community’s beloved Truckee River Regional Park.
The bank shot started with the town expanding its new corporation yard at Stockrest Springs to accommodate transit, equipment, and police storage uses currently at the old Riverview Corporation Yard off of Riverview Drive. This is now under construction. The move frees up about a third of the old yard for the Truckee-Donner Recreation and Park District to relocate its current yard (now occupying a central location in Regional Park) and allows for redevelopment of several critical acres of Regional Park.
The Truckee Community Pavilion and Ice Arena working group are also planning a 25,000-square-foot covered, lighted, and modern ice arena and summer event pavilion on that site. A new 20,000-square-foot library can also then be sited immediately to the south, along Brockway Road and the bike path and bus stop, championed by Friends of the Truckee Library.
The Truckee community has envisioned a proactive solution for both facilities for many years. Not to be outdone, in the eastern half of Regional Park near the Rodeo Grounds, the KidZone Museum is looking to expand and build a more permanent and appropriate facility for the hundreds of kids and families currently served in its small antiquated facility. Just south of that, near Estates Drive, the skate park looks to double in size and greatly expand its features. Each of these new users has a well-organized support group, design professionals working on their project, and plans for funding to make these ideas a reality.
The level of cooperation from multiple agencies and nonprofit organizations is unprecedented. Regional Park has multiple land owners — Truckee-Donner Recreation and Park District, Truckee Donner Public Utility District, and the Truckee Sanitary District — each of which plays a critical role. The Truckee Tahoe Airport District has stepped in to assist with planning and coordination. The town is initiating the “bank shot” with its new corporation yard expansion, its willingness to offer the Riverview Corporation Yard to the rec and park district, and through the coordination of the permitting and studies. The TDRPD is working closely with all of the agencies and the proposed new users to ensure each project a viable home and help any new uses blend with the established park. Each nonprofit is jumping in with both feet on collaborative planning, architecture, and financing. Nevada County is also involved in the planning as the eventual library service provider. It’s a team effort.
The project still has unanswered questions such as whether there is enough parking and how to ensure safe and efficient traffic flow. And it is not without potential controversies: Is it too many new uses and buildings? What about timing? What if one or two happen and the others don’t? Will the uses be fully compatible? Can the groups raise the funds? All of these questions are posed as part of a master plan process led by the TDRPD to make sure that the park remains what the community wants and that any changes add significant value.
The vision is taking shape and the potential long-term benefit to the community — especially to future children and families — is staggering. We need community support and engagement to guide all the interlocking pieces of the puzzle to come together cohesively to create an overall improved community hub. Feel free to contact Steve (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Jeff (email@example.com) with ideas or questions. Stay tuned for opportunities to share your thoughts and provide your input. The wheels are in motion!
~ Jeff Loux, Ph.D. serves as Truckee town manager, where he is responsible for all town policies and operations. He has worked in the public, private, and academic sectors for 35 years, addressing environmental and water policy, sustainable planning, and dispute resolution projects.
~ Steve Randall is general manager for the Truckee-Donner Recreation and Park District and is responsible for oversight of all district functions and activities including administration, finance, human resources, parks and recreation operations, and public outreach.