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Bielenberg Sports Center Expansion: Financing Plan, Other Design Details

The Woodbury City Council discussed the latest plans during a Wednesday night workshop.

As the city waded through residents’ concerns about a third sheet of ice at the Bielenberg Sports Center, council members also heard some details about the proposed funding for the future expansion project.

The project is expected to cost about $21.8 million, with $16.6 million coming from the issuance of general-obligation bonds. Plans call for a permanent field house to replace the aging dome and an outdoor ice sheet reserved for leisure skating, along with an updated lobby and other improvements.

The project, as it stands, would not require the city to raise taxes.

On the bonds, Woodbury is hoping to take advantage of favorable interest rates, which have come down (to 2.56 percent) since a previous estimate in July.

But the city also plans to issue the bonds before getting bids back for the project—something Woodbury hasn’t done previously.

Finance Director Tim Johnson, however, noted the city has never undertaken a project like the Bielenberg expansion, and there is a concern that rates could rise by the time the city gets bids back from contractors.

(It would cost $7 million to $9 million to enclose the outdoor rink. See: Woodbury Firm on Third Ice Sheet for Bielenberg Sports Center Expansion)

The work is expected to begin in April 2013, and the new facility would open in February or March of 2014.

Other Project Notes

—The proposed colors at the new field house would be neutral, rather than reflecting a local school or club, Parks and Recreation Director Bob Klatt said. It’s meant to be a “community facility,” he said.

—The new lobby is set to be four times the size of the existing lobby at Bielenberg.

—The lobby and field house would be available for rental. The field house could serve as a banquet facility for thousands.

—There will be a meeting room with space available for 60 people. It will also have technological capabilities for presentations.

—One large solar panel is part of the plans, and another could be added at a later date.

—A water feature allowance has been set at $500,000. See: Woodbury Councilwoman Renews Call for ‘Splash Pad’ as Part of Bielenberg Expansion Plans

—Improvements ($500,000) are planned for the existing rinks.

—The city is looking for a vendor for food service at the expanded sports complex.

—Upgrades are planned for the exterior of the existing rinks building to make it better blend with the new field house.

—During warmer months, the concrete on which the outdoor ice sits could be used for basketball, volleyball or pickleball. (Related: Video: Woodbury Pickleballers)

 

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