ARC History and Donors

In July of 1998, Mayor Darwin Hindman appointed a 37 member Mayor’s Recreation Center Citizens’ Committee co-chaired by Greg Steinhoff and Naomi Cupp. The mission of the committee was to determine the indoor recreation needs of the citizens of Columbia, establish a cost-effective plan in accord with those needs, and encourage support of and participation in a community recreation center. After extensive research, public surveys and information gathering, the committee unanimously recommended to the City Council that it proceed with the development of a community recreation center.

Funding was made possible by the citizens of Columbia passing a 1/4-cent sales tax to raise $10.5 million in a November 1999 ballot. The recreation center funding was Proposition 1 on the November 3, 1999 ballot and passed by a narrow margin – 6,867 in favor, 6,676 against.
[Election results by ward/precinct]

Construction began on this 73,000 square-foot facility in the spring of 2001. The facility was dedicated on December 15, 2002 and opened for public use on December 16, 2002. 
[ARC dedication program]

A small group of the original Mayor’s Recreation Center Citizens’ Committee worked to raise private funds to enhance the center. The following donors contributed to the project. Their donations facilitated the addition of 10,000 square feet to the original building plans. The City is very appreciative of the generous donations and the support shown by the community for the center.


Donor Item Amount
Columbia Orthopaedic Group Walking/Jogging Track
Columbia Cosmo Luncheon Club Gymnasium
University YMCA Classroom
Boone County National Bank Meeting Rooms
CenturyTel – (Verizon Foundation) Technology Center

Boone Hospital Center/
BJC HealthCare

Youth Training Room
Boone Hospital Center/
Board of Trustees
Youth Training Room
Commerce Bank
(William T. Kemper Foundation)
Missouri Employers Mutual  
Columbia Daily Tribune  

A special thank you to Ron & Vicky Shy for their generous donation of land, which helped make this project possible.


The project costs associated with the second gym, the additional multi-purpose room and youth training areas were partially underwritten by the Missouri Department of Economic Development’s Youth Opportunities Program.

Building Contractors:

Architectural & Engineering Design: Jacobs Facilities, Inc.
Contractor: Curtiss-Manes-Schulte
Pool Consultant: Counsilman / Hunsaker & Assoc.
Civil Engineers: Trabue Hansen & Hinshaw
Geotechnical: Engineering Surveys & Service
Associate Architects – Site Design: Peckham and Wright

Mayor’s Recreation Center Citizens’ Committee
Cup Naomi, Co-Chair Fennewald, Connie Oxenhandler, Gary
Stienhoff, Gregg, Co-Chair Filbert, Gary Price, Jerry
Abrams, Doug Gardner, Brent Reed, Lisa
Barry, Dean Gowan, Ann Roberts, Magie
Bihr, Mari Ann Gray, Susan Shy, Ron
Kaiser-Brown, Natasha Henry, Lloyd Smith, Dennis
Cooper, Chip Johnson, David Stamper, Don
Crane, Kevin LaFontaine, Tom Sundvold, Jon
Dahlman, Diane Lenox, John Taylor, Gary
Daugherty, Jack Mirts, Doug Walthall, Chris
Doty, Jeri Moseley, Carol Walther, Skip
Edwards, Anne G. Naylor, Monica  
Fay, Elton Ostlund, David  

Thank you to the following:

The Citizens of Columbia
Mayor, City Council, and City Manager
Columbians for a Community Center Committee
Mayor’s Recreation Center Citizens’ Committee & Fund Raising Committee

A Place for Us

“Places and spaces must be found for youth to feel secure and to go to for activities and learning outside of school other than the mall…for senior citizens to network, and access services unique to their lives…for community groups to cooperate with other community groups in combined efforts for common goals…” Columbia 2000, 1991

Much More Than Recreation…

“A Community Recreation Center impacts the City of Columbia far beyond creating a recreational and meeting space for residents. It communicates to the entire community that our town is a people-centered place to live, work, learn and play.

With an eye toward the future, the Columbia Community Recreation Center has the power to enhance our positive community culture. This is a rare and important opportunity.” Columbia 2000, 1991

Stonewall King – Renowned Stallion

The plaque below was placed outside the ARC natatorium on the east side of the building in memory of Stonewall King, a world renowned American Saddlebred stallion.

Stonewall King 1920 to 1949

Plaque wording:

Stonewall King


“Missouri born and raised, Stonewall King was a world renowned American Saddlebred stallion. Honored at the 1947 Boone County Fair, he was awarded a key to the City of Columbia. Upon his death, the great stallion was laid to rest here, at that time the site of the County Fairgrounds. Although his original headstone was moved to the new fairgrounds, Stonewall King remains, buried near this marker.”

Capital Improvement Projects

Year Completed Project Description
Activity and Recreation Center Development
Parking Lot Expansion
ARC/West Jr. High Fence
Solar Parking Lot Lighting
FY 2010 Annual Roads and Parking – Parking Lot Repair and Conversion to Concrete, Phase I
FY 2011 Annual Roads and Parking – Parking Lot Repair and Conversion to Concrete, Phases 2 & 3
ARC Flooring and Improvements
ARC Spa – Add Ultraviolet Generator
FY 2014 Annual Roads and Parking: Remove section and replace w/concrete
ARC Lighting and Pool Pak Improvements
ARC HVAC Improvements
ARC Security System Improvements

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