After summer monsoon, Red Mountain Park is cleaning up
October 9, 2017
By Jimmy Magahern
Red Mountain Park, just west of the Red Mountain Freeway at Brown Road, is home to an eight-acre, 17-foot-deep urban fishing lake regularly stocked with catfish, trout, sunfish and largemouth bass. In 2011, in fact, Mesa resident Brandon Dugan even caught the biggest largemouth bass – 3 pounds, 12.8 ounces – in Arizona’s Urban Big Fish-of-the-Year contest here.
But lately, it’s the water around the 65,000-square-foot Red Mountain Multigenerational Center that’s been attracting the most attention. Kym Otterstedt, recreation supervisor for the city of Mesa, says the rainy weather the city experienced over the summer monsoon had left an unwelcome, and rather musty, pool of water around the popular fitness and activity center.
“We had a lot of rain basically coming off the roof and then not draining away from the building,” she explains. “It was always wet around the building and it didn’t look good – or smell good!”
And so, beginning in June, the city began what Otterstedt calls the first exterior landscaping improvement project the 18-year-old structure has undergone “since, like, ever.” In addition to fixing the drainage issues, the city also re-did much of the landscaping and, because it was utilizing the services of plumbing experts, tackled some much-needed renovations in the facility’s locker rooms.
“We were having some different types of drainage issues in the locker rooms, with the showers not draining properly,” Otterstedt says. “Also, since the facility was built so long ago, the locker room showers were designed as one big bay with seven shower heads all around the walls, and we really did not see a lot of customer use of those showers. You know, even schools don’t really have that kind of setup anymore.”
The center’s new showers feature private individual stalls that are sure to encourage more use, as well as an upgraded ventilation system in the locker area to cut down on humidity and stuffiness. “It used to get a little warm and steamy in there, especially if you were coming from an aerobics class.”
Otterstedt says the renovations should be completed in October. The staff at the Red Mountain Multigenerational Center hope the work will put the attention back on the body of water Mesa residents and visitors come to see: that lake teeming with all those big fish.