City Council approves architectural research for new Chaska community center | Chaska

Chaska City Council approved a major step forward for the Chaska Community Center master plan 5-0 on December 6, signaling that an architect is looking for potential expansion and major improvements to the center.

The project, which would define a future vision and reinvestment, would start at the end of February 2022.

“For municipal government, it’s very fast,” Mayor Mark Windschitl said at the council meeting.

The 210,000-square-foot, 30-year-old building, one of the largest community centers in the country, did without a large-scale budget – and the upgrades that would have accompanied it.

“This facility has truly served the community tremendously over its 30 years as the premier gathering place here in Chaska. But the point is, he’s 30, ”Parks and Recreation Director Marshall Grange said at the meeting. “We are starting to see major components of the facility fail.”

Developing a plan would allow city staff to be more proactive with upgrades.

Grange said the master plan could include a teenage center, pickleball area or esports, reflecting changes in leisure trends over the decades. A different parking lot or a modified campus layout are also on the table.

“Things like fitness and training (are) a lot more popular now,” he said. “But it really wasn’t at the forefront of the facility’s design when it was first built. “

Knowing what to incorporate into the potential new space requires comment, Grange and city council members said.

A focus group consisting of a citizen working group, city staff, school district staff, and community center members will meet several times to express any wishes or concerns.

People can apply to be part of the task force across town by January 30, 2022.

The city will also send out a community-wide survey, organize open houses and working sessions, and likely create an informative website on the project.

Grange said staff at the community center had already taken an inventory of the items. It includes the life expectancy of larger items and what they would cost to replace. Mechanical and technical upgrades, security and ADA housing still need to be visited.

Doing all of these projects in one saves money, said board member Mike Huang, and offers a greater return on investment (or ROI). It’s also a huge work in progress.

“This one excites me a lot because it really kicks off something that we have been working on over the past year,” city administrator Matt Podhradsky said at the meeting. .

“It will be interesting to see how we can use a fairly full space,” said Windschitl. “I think it will be an interesting reinvestment in the community to see what happens and what comes out of the master plan.”

RJM Construction, based in Golden Valley, would manage the construction processes.

The community center currently has a fitness center, an indoor pool with water slides, an indoor track, an outdoor wading pool, a two-plate ice rink, a playground. indoor with babysitting service and a theater. There is also an art gallery, an active center for the elderly, a gift shop and several rented spaces.

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