Soldotna Parks and Rec to continue adapting

  • Tuesday, January 27, 2015 11:23pm
  • News

To remain an attractive location for locals and tourists alike, the city of Soldotna must continue adapting and improving its parks and recreational areas.

That was the message from Andrew Carmichael, Soldotna Parks and Recreation Director, at the Soldotna Chamber of Commerce luncheon held Tuesday at Froso’s in Soldotna.

“People come, people go, (the population) gets older, (the population) gets younger,” Carmichael said. “The emphasis on Parks and Recreation is ever-changing. That’s our job — to change.”

During his speech, Carmichael highlighted many of the Soldotna’s recent changes and improvements of its recreational areas and services. Carmichael also outlined future plans that could benefit the city.

The changes and improvements included the city’s completion of park projects, the construction of fish cleaning stations near the Kenai River and the addition of electronic pay stations at Soldotna campgrounds.

One of the less publicized changes was at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex. Carmichael said that the facility wasn’t as efficient as it could be and demand for facility time was high.

“We didn’t have enough days in the month or days in the season to accommodate everybody,” Carmichael said.

Carmichael said that to improve the facility, a floor system for the rink was needed to cover the ice in order to have other events at the center. After researching, Carmichael said that an insulated cover for the ice would cost between $115,000 and $150,000.

“After falling out of the chair at that price, we talked to the staff and the staff said ‘We can do this. What are they built of?’” Carmichael said.

Carmichael said Parks and Recreation built their own 20,000-square-foot rink cover system for around $50,000. The cover is four inches deep, it can be driven on, and it can be assembled and put in place in 4 1/2 hours.

In the near future, Carmichael said he envisions several more improvements to the city’s recreational facilities. Those include a skating path at Soldotna Creek Park, a comprehensive community activity calendar and improvements to the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex.

Carmichael said that the harsh weather often delays or shortens schools’ baseball, soccer and football seasons. To provide space for numerous activities, a 200-by-150-foot turf playing surface, encompassed by an inflatable dome with a base measuring 250-by-200 feet has been proposed.

The proposed structure would be adjacent to the sports complex. Carmichael said the dome proposal has many benefits. He said that it would cost approximately one-third the price of a traditional building to construct, and operating costs of the proposed dome would be 36 percent of that of the Sports Center.

Carmichael said that just to replace the current roof of the Sports Center cost $1.2 million, whereas to replace a dome of the same square footage in the future could cost as little as $600,000.

The surface inside the dome would have several layers — concrete, court surface and turf, making it multi-purposed, Carmichael said.

Carmichael said that listening to new ideas and new people was important to provide people with services and facilities that are beneficial.

“We have to change and move forward,” Carmichael said.

Reach Ian Foley at

More in News

Samantha Springer, left, and Michelle Walker stand in the lobby of the Kenai Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center on Wednesday, March 22, 2023, in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Springer named new head of Kenai chamber

Springer, who was raised in Anchorage, said she’s lived on the Kenai Peninsula since 2021

Forever Dance performers rehearse “Storytellers” on Wednesday, March 22, 2023, at the Renee C. Henderson Auditorium in Kenai, Alaska. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
‘Storytellers’ weave tales with their feet

Dance and literature intersect in latest Forever Dance showcase

Soldotna City Hall is photographed on Wednesday, June 24, 2021, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Soldotna OKs donation of portable shower, restroom facilities to homelessness coalition

The city purchased the portable restroom and shower trailer for about $182,000 in October 2020

The Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation building is seen in Juneau, Alaska, in March 2022. The deadline for the permanent fund dividend is coming up fast, landing on March 31, 2023. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire)
PFD application deadline is next week; state revenue forecasts lower than expected

Alaska North Slope crude oil was estimated to be about $71.62 per barrel on Monday

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
COVID-19: Cases jump in Kenai Peninsula Borough

No hospitalizations were reported in the Gulf Coast region

The Challenger Learning Center is seen in Kenai, Alaska, on Sept. 10, 2020. (Peninsula Clarion file)
Transportation gaps to be the focus of community meeting

The goal is to create a task force who can regularly meet and move forward on the issue

Bob Schroeder takes an electric chainsaw to a mock credit card during a protest outside the Wells Fargo in downtown Juneau at midday Tuesday. Schroeder cut up three mock credit cards representing three banks in Juneau protesters say are leading funders of fossil fuel development projects. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Protesters object to banks financing fossil fuel projects

Demonstrators used chain saw to cut up giant credit cards

The members of Sankofa Dance Theater Alaska perform for a crowd of students during an opening performance at Kaleidoscope School of Arts and Science in Kenai, Alaska on Monday, March 20, 2023. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Uniting through movement

Kaleidoscope students learn about western African dances and music with in-residence artists

A blizzard warning is issued for the Eastern Kenai Peninsula and beyond by the National Weather Service on Tuesday, March 21, 2023. (Screenshot)
Blizzard warning issued for Seward, Turnagain Pass

Snow accumulation is predicted to be from 7 to 20 inches

Most Read