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Rosemount rec center proposal builds steam

An early architectural rendering that depicts a modern exterior with a pool, waterslide, court spaces and an elevated walking and running track for the proposed Rosemount Recreation Center. Artists rendering courtesy of the Rosemount Parks and Recreation Commission

ROSEMOUNT — A future recreation center is building steam and a potential land deal is underway.

Rosemount Parks and Recreation Director Dan Schultz provided an update to the Rosemount Parks and Recreation Commission during its June 24 meeting. The commission sent a recommendation to Rosemount City Council, stating amenities included in the draft plan were acceptable and offered a few tweaks like a larger track.

The city is still engaging in discussion with potential partners and all the feedback the city has received has been pretty supportive, Schultz said.

A brief discussion was shared during the June 18 Rosemount Port Authority meeting about a potential land deal underway on Akron Avenue. City staff were scheduled to meet this week with two property owners on the Akron Avenue site.

The goal is to wrap up the needs assessment study and feasibility document by the end of the month.

The draft plan estimated a new community recreation center could cost taxpayers $29 million to build.

"We haven't many who have been real negative about it. We have had some folks who have asked for some specific items that are not in the first phase of the plan right now but we are getting a lot of positive feedback," Schultz said.

Field trip

City staff are planning for the commission and City Council to go on a field trip to visit rec centers in nearby communities such as Shoreview, Andover and Chaska.

"I think the idea is to show how these function and how everything came together," Schultz said.

On the trip, the commission can talk with facility operators about operations and gather information.

"I think the council is open to the idea of bringing in some nonprofits and even some for profits that can run portions of it, but the number one goal is that it still has to be open to the public and can't be closed off," Schultz said.

There will be one more public meeting to gather input when all parties are confirmed.

"We want the council to keep an open mind as things are progressing in town or if things do not progress and if there was a big impact to a local facility like RAHA or RAAA or anyone else, we would need to make adjustments to this plan," Schultz said.

The council's goal is to wrap up details by this fall.

Facility build, amenities

Schultz said that construction will most likely not begin until fall of 2020 and would take roughly one year to complete.

Schultz also reminded commissioners that the draft plan is still a conceptual one. The final plan will come back with more details about the size of the facility, the location and the center amenities.

A new recreational facility could offer a pool, party room, basketball courts, locker rooms, indoor courts and an elevated walking track, in addition to a child watch service and indoor playground. Once finalized, a final architectural rendering plan will be presented.

"My guess is as we go through the design process, things will be added," Schultz said.

The city is still having conversations with the school district about potential partnerships. Those talks should be finalized in the next three weeks. There will also be a discussion about if there will be a need for a referendum and who will pay for it.

"We are definitely moving along and we are going to make big strokes in the next four weeks, and we will come back in July to meet with you guys and talk about some details," Schultz said.

The Rosemount Parks and Recreation meeting in July may be moved up by a week if the timing works out.