The Turner Recreation Commission was created in 1963. On June 6, 1963, the Turner Unified School District voted to establish what is now known as the Turner Recreation Commission. A new Kansas law that year made it possible to institute a local recreation commission to handle activities deemed recreational. A tax levy could be authorized by cities or by school districts for this purpose.
The first members of the governing commission, numbering four, were appointed to serve four years, the second for three years, the third for two years, and the fourth for one year. A fifth member, appointed by the four appointed Recreation Commission members, served a term of four years. A presiding officer and secretary were then elected by members of the Commission. From its beginning, the Recreation Commission has had dedicated people who have worked diligently to bring an excellent recreation program to Turner.
The first Recreation Commission meetings were held at Muncie Elementary School. They were moved to the Board of Education Office then located in the Sav-On building at 55th and Kansas Avenue. When the School Board Office was established at its present location, 800 South 55th Street, Recreation Commission meetings were held but, are now held at the old Turner East Building located at 831 S. 55th Street.
Until 1980, recreation programs and activities were sponsored by volunteers, teachers, and special athletic organizations. In 1980, the Recreation Commission hired Bob Mabe to become the first part-time Director to supervise the programs. Following Mr. Mabe's untimely death in August 1980, Jack Trumbo was hired until the position became full time in April of 1982. Jim Gray, in conjunction with his teaching and other administrative duties, became the new director to oversee upkeep, maintenance, and supervision of fields as well as directing and approving all programs of recreation including the responsibility of scheduling. Mr. Gray's successor David Saueressig began his directorship in 1991 and brought to the Commission the positions of Sports Coordinator held by Kent Rettig and later Scott Harmon, Groundskeeper Terry Bogner, and Office Manager Connie Hijaz followed by Cindy Webb. In 1997, Administrative changes were made by alleviating the positions of Groundskeeper and Sports Coordinator; thusly, dividing administrative responsibilities between the new Director, Scott Harmon, and Cindy Webb, Office Manager. The groundskeeping responsibilities were contracted to the TUSD #202 School District Grounds Department. Then the former Director, Matthew Galley, became actively involved in Turner Recreation Commission activities and programs on April 6, 1998, until his departure on November 8, 2006. Former Executive Director, Skyler Rorabaugh, started his involvement with the Turner Recreation Commission on April 1, 2007. Skyler was instrumental in the growth of Turner Recreation Commission from youth & adult sports, day camp, and a few special events to the full-service recreation center until his departure on March 30, 2012.
Our current staff includes Executive Director Robbie Spencer, Sports Director Bobby McFarland, Program Director Shanta Jones, Specialty Recreation Director Amanda Beck, Business Manager Heather Mihm, Grounds & Facilities Director Terry Payne, and Lead Customer Service Specialist Raven Coppage. The Recreation Commission is empowered to administer in all respects the business and affairs of the recreation system. It is responsible to parents and children of the Turner School District to provide the funds, recreational programs, rules, regulations, equipment, facilities, supplies, and any other needs to better the community and the recreational training of the children.