Gene Johnson acknowledged that $21 million is a lot of money.
“But we want to make sure it’s done right,” he said.
Johnson, a member of the Bielenberg Sports Center Expansion Project Task Force, was on hand at Tuesday night’s Woodbury City Council meeting, during which the city discussed the latest plans for the project and got a .
The project—including a permanent structure to replace the dome, a parks substation, $1.2 in contingency funds and other improvements (more windows and a 50-year roof among them)—is now estimated to cost more than $21 million. The lobby has been widened slightly and solar and geothermal systems are also part of the plans.
The footprint of the building—which will be twice as large as the current field house—will remain the same, officials said.
The city could utilize capital-improvement funds to pay for part of the project, as Woodbury did for and , for example, City Administrator Clint Gridley said.
A two-part funding plan has been put forward—using general-obligation bonds for about $16 million of the project, and capital-improvement and park-dedication funds for the rest.
Mayor Mary Giuliani Stephens, who served on the task force, said the new building will also provide space for events such as the .
“We really want this facility to be more than a sports field house,” she said.
The council also briefly discussed including a “water feature”—possibly a “splash pad”—as part of the plans. Councilwoman Julie Ohs said it should be considered to give families another option for recreation at the 320-acre Bielenberg Sports Center.
“Not all kids play sports,” she said.
The council informally agreed to move from the schematic to design/development phase, examine financing options, look into future revenues and expenditures at the new field house, and find a food vendor for the facility. The city council will also discuss a possible name change—and/or naming sponsorship—at some point.
Pending council approval, work will begin in April 2013 and the expanded facility will open in spring 2014.
Note: The next Woodbury Community Expo will likely be the final event at the existing field house. It’s set for the first Saturday in April 2013.