Woodbury Councilwoman Renews Call for ‘Splash Pad’ as Part of Bielenberg Expansion Plans

The Woodbury City Council got an update on the project Wednesday.

During Wednesday’s update of the Bielenberg Sports Center expansion project, Councilwoman Julie Ohs again voiced her support for a “splash pad” as part of the plans.

With the city spending so much money to revamp the sports complex, it makes sense to have something available for non-athletes, as well, she said.

During the Woodbury City Council workshop, Ohs said she wants something “simple … nothing outrageous.”

City Administrator Clint Gridley said it could be considered as the project moves forward, specifically when the city works with a landscape architect.

The city is looking to replace the aging Bielenberg Sports Center dome with a permanent structure. The latest cost estimates put the project at about $21 million. 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.

A new budget will likely be detailed in October, City Administrator Clint Gridley said.

Meanwhile, city staff provided the council with the breakdown of the types of materials that will be used in the construction of the field house and link to the existing rinks.

As it stands, 21 percent would be class 1 materials—brick, natural stone, glass, etc.—and 56 percent would be class 2: specialty concrete, stucco or ceramic, for example. City council members will get their hands on some samples at an upcoming meeting.

The information presented to the council Wednesday also included cost-by-square-foot comparisons to other large projects in Woodbury, City Hall and East Ridge High School among them.

For the most part, the costs were similar, which prompted Councilman Paul Rebholz to ask why—at lower percentages of class 1 and 2 materials—the Bielenberg plans came in at the same rate, about $150 per square foot.

Architects and building managers said it’s mostly because of the vertical space of the field house, and staff plans to come back to the council with cubic-foot comparisons of other projects.

On another topic, Councilman Christopher Burns asked what the city has learned from similar projects in other cities, noting in particular the problems with the Vadnais Sports Center.

Gridley said Vadnais Heights tried to pay for the project with operating costs rather than the city budget.

“It doesn’t work,” he said.

Burns also asked staff to work up costs comparisons—considering inflation—with other large civic projects.

“I think that would be helpful,” he said.


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Kathie Theisen September 21, 2012 at 02:00 PM
There is a splash pad in Cottage Grove appoximately 1 mile from the dome. I would like to see some sort of an indoor small waterpark similiar to Tropix in Shoreview. I know that there is a huge cost difference but we need something like that in Woodbury...a community center.
Kris Janisch September 21, 2012 at 04:41 PM
Someone asked on Facebook if you have to live in Cottage Grove to use that one.
Washington County Watchdog September 22, 2012 at 01:47 AM
Tax dollars shouldn't be wasted providing free pools and entertainment... If you want to swim join the YMCA, it's nearly free if you're actually low income. It's bad enough the Woodbury library is basically a free internet cafe' with high speed internet where pretty much the only people on them are kids playing online shooting games and people on Facebook. Not to mention they have the latest new releases for DVDs and CDs.
Washington County Watchdog September 22, 2012 at 01:48 AM
I live in Stillwater and I take my family to the splash pad in Cottage Grove no problem. Every community doesn't need a tax funded water park;)
Washington County Watchdog September 22, 2012 at 01:53 AM
Nope, it's like any other park... like I said before, I live in Stillwater and my family and I go to the cottage grove splash pad almost every weekend when it was above 80.... I heard about this story and talked to Commissioner Lehrke of Cottage Grove and she confirmed everyone is welcome to their splash pad:)


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