URBANDALE, Iowa — Urbandale’s guts are in the east…but it’s growth is in the west, and it’s high time those out here had more than just fields and fire stations.

“They’re part of Urbandale and we want them to embrace that,” says city manager, AJ Johnson.
This could help. Call it the “U-Plex”…a new community center for the west side (152nd and Meredith).

“It’s not a fitness center,” says parks and recreation director, Jan Herke. “It’ll be indoor gyms, and indoor regional playground–which is a ‘need amenity’ the community has indicated a desire for.”

An indoor walking track, outdoor pickle ball. Indoor meeting space, outdoor playground and splash pad. Different from the sports complexes in West Des Moines and Grimes.

“What we’re looking at,” Herke says, “is what can we do to compliment what other communities are doing rather than competing with them.”

The design is finished, but now the hard part: residents need to approve the bond.

“We can’t really campaign,” Johnson admits. “We have to inform the public.”

From now until March, officials will show off the drawings, answer questions, and give their modest plugs.

“Recreation for all ages is what will be offered at this facility,” says Herke.

“I personally think it adds value to the community,” adds Johnson.

The so-called “U-Plex” will be located to the southwest of the fire station at 152nd and Meredith–that is, if 60% of Urbandale voters approve the bond referendum on March 7.