Decatur Selects Site for New Recreation Center to Replace Aquadome | News


A new recreation center is coming to Decatur, according to an announcement made by the mayor at Monday night’s city council meeting.

This is part of the settlement the city received from 3M for the illegal dumping of hazardous chemicals, which affected the Aquadome recreation center.

Since the $98 million settlement in October 2021, the city has the funds to build a new center, and now they finally know where it’s going to be.

“Really, it’s in the center of town,” Mayor Tab Bowling said.

He explained that it would be near Wilson Morgan Park, on land that is already owned by the city and ready for construction.

The new center will replace the Aquadome, after 3M admitted to dumping toxic chemicals where the Aquadome currently stands. 3M will pay $35 million of the $98 million settlement to build the new recreation center.

Another recreation center that could also be demolished soon is the Carrie Matthews Center. The 50-year-old gymnasium floor has been sinking for many years now.

“The engineering reports that have come out of where the Carrie Matthews Center is are saying that the ground is not conducive to installing a new structure, so if we’re going to build a new facility, we want make sure we put it on the right footing,” says Bowling.

The center is in the process of being transitioned, but the city is awaiting an evaluation.

“The Carrie Matthews Center, it’s going to Decatur Youth Services. … It’s going to hopefully go across the street. We’re still trying to get an assessment from the Decatur Housing Authority,” Bowling said.

As the city awaits the fate of a recreation center, all eyes are on the upcoming new center.

“We’ll get to the spruce [Wilson Morgan] Park up and it will become the crown jewel of Decatur when it comes to our parks,” Bowling said.

He said that the new recreation center has been under construction for two or three years and in the meantime residents can still enjoy the Aquadome.

3M bought the Aquadome in the settlement. The mayor said once the new recreation center is built, the Aquadome will likely be razed and turned into a green field.


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