Madison Rec Center 3D design revealed

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MADISON, Ala. (WHNT)-- WHNT News 19 has an exclusive sneak peek of the Madison Rec Center campus.

Questions have swirled in the community about the project, one of the most expensive projects Madison has ever undertaken. Council member Steve Smith wants Monday to be a day when those questions turn to excitement. That's when the design will be shown in a public council meeting.

"It's very modern," said Smith. "It just draws people in."

He showed WHNT News 19 the architect's design ahead of Monday's meeting. A vote is expected there on an agreement with Madison Fieldhouse, LLC, a company the city is working with to make the project a reality.

He said the project, as it is in the final drawings, has been bid for construction. The soccer fields pictured are still in the discussion, but not finalized. The rest of the project does include a natatorium with large windows, a family entertainment area complete with restaurants and a climbing wall, and several courts that can be used for basketball and volleyball.

"You've actually got two pools," said Smith. "You've got the 25 yard one, and then on the far side there's a lap pool that can be used as a therapy pool."

Monday's council meeting is big, Smith explained, because he believes it's the council's chance to move the project along. He said this project can be a big thing for Madison.

"It's going to generate interest in the downtown area. It's going to connect downtown with the Madison Boulevard corridor, it's going to bring a lot of retail, potentially hotels, and hopefully it's a good foundation for improvement... it goes beyond just a rec campus," he said. "It reaches out into so many areas of our city."

WHNT is also Getting Results on questions we've been asking about the rec campus. Smith indicated that the city has paid $60,000 to Madison Fieldhouse, LLC as part of a Memorandum of Agreement. Still, Madison Fieldhouse is not registered in the state of Alabama. They are in Tennessee. City Attorney Kelly Butler said that's ok, because right now Madison Fieldhouse does not have an office in Alabama. Once they do, it will be in Madison, and that's where they will need to seek a license.

WHNT News 19 has learned, though, that Madison Fieldhouse is late on its annual report to the Tennessee Secretary of State's office. Butler said they need to submit it by August 1, or risk being fined or possibly dissolved. She said it's something the city's legal team is watching closely, but that she believes will be all right.

Smith said city leaders and city partners have spent a lot of time on this project, and he hopes the council votes to approve the agreement Monday.

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