Archive for Thursday, October 26, 2006

New rec director appointed

October 26, 2006

Tammy Hodges is excited.

She's excited to start work in a growing town. She's excited for the Eudora Community and Aquatic Center, which will begin construction in the coming months.

Most of all, she's excited to be the city's next parks and recreation director.

"The main thing I'm excited about is the move and I'm excited about meeting the people of Eudora," Hodges said.

Eudora Mayor Tom Pyle appointed Hodges Monday as the next director of the Eudora Parks and Recreation Department.

Hodges will take over for interim director Ian Mater once a replacement at her current job as parks and recreation director in Clearwater is found.

Hodges comes to Eudora after spending 17 years in various recreation departments. She headed Clearwater's department for almost two years.

Although Hodges has spent more than a decade in the field, she entered college chasing a different dream.

Hodges attended Butler County Community College on a track scholarship and was planning to get a degree in education.

She transferred to Wichita State and a friend majoring in recreation changed her career plans.

"I had a friend who was in recreation and she changed my role in what I wanted to do, " Hodges said. "So I got into recreation and I haven't stopped."

Before arriving at Clearwater, Hodges spent time as an assistant parks and recreation director at Dodge City.

"Dodge was just growing tremendously ---- in leaps and bounds ---- and getting new soccer fields and updating recreation programs," Hodges said.

Her job responsibilities included working on detailed plans to expand programs. Hodges took up that task again at her next job in Newton.

She was on hand to see the passage of a bond issue that paid for a $4 million softball and baseball field complex.

Hodges said she anticipated similar growth in Eudora. In fact, that's one reason she took the job, she said.

The new recreation center was also a big draw.

"I have a lot of background in that, so I pretty much feel confident in running the facility," Hodges said.

While keeping tabs on the construction and eventual operation of the recreation center, she would look into creating new programs, she said. Residents could soon see expanded basketball, volleyball and football programs.

Hodges said she was interested in looking into forming day camp at which working parents could leave children during the summer.

"That's something I'm really looking into," Hodges sad. "We'll have play days when there is no school."

Hodges anticipated youngsters working on arts and crafts or watching movies at the play days.

New programs are in the future. More immediately, Hodges will inherit the task of making sure the recreation center opens up on time.

"It's just exciting for me and a challenge for me to run a great program and a great facility," Hodges said.

She reviewed the original drawing with City Administrator Cheryl Beatty before being hired.

"She's trying to include me as much as possible," Hodges said.

She'll have input on the final design of the center before it's put out to bid, she said.

"I'm going to be pretty busy from start to finish," Hodges said.

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