Preliminary plans for Lonsdale Community Center are presented to public

By Wade Young

Messenger editor

Preliminary plans for the Lonsdale Community Center were unveiled in one of two public meetings in Lonsdale on Wednesday, August 11 at the Lonsdale American Legion Hall.

Mayor Tim Rud introduced Kevin Halfach of the firm KKE Architects who pointed out that the meeting was being held to gather opinions and ideas for the project, and was in no way an indication that things are permanent.

“It is important to understand there are no commitments to what you see,” he said. “Your input is really important.”

Halfach said the building committee was looking for ideas and suggestions for what needs to be done first for the construction and phasing before it can make a recommendation to the Lonsdale City Council.

The city doesn’t currently own land reserved for a community center, but Halfach said the committee has identified property on Main Street South owned by Donny Trcka as being acceptable.

“That seems most logical because the building would be on Main Street,” Halfach said.

The multi-use center’s plan is made up of seven phases that may contain a public library, government offices, an indoor pool, a hockey arena, a community area, gymnasium, fitness areas, and possibly a water park.

Halfach said the list of possible ideas for the phases came from a list of needed developments for the community.

Each phase in the Community Center could cost upwards anywhere from .5 million to $2.5 million each, with the overall cost being a proposed $14.1 million.

Halfach also showed the group of 50 people attending the possible tax impact for one or two phases of the project. Depending on the terms, it would cost approximately $30 a month for a $200,000 home. Then if another phase is started, that amount would be “stacked” onto the first amount, he said.

However, Halfach added since the community is experiencing a surge in growth, the numbers could change.

“When you are in a growth situation, you want to take the opportunity to get the land and not have to pay for something twice,” he said.

Halfach said the plans were shown to the public during Lonsdale Community Days. He added he asked many people which phase should be first, and expected the hockey/ice arena to be the obvious answer. He said he was surprised when the majority of teenagers said they wanted an outdoor water park and bath house to be built first.

Mayor Rud said the original idea for the community center was born out of a need for something for the Lonsdale senior citizen population. He said Wednesday, that Dorothy Kaderlik and a group of friends toured many community and senior centers in Northfield, St. Peter and Faribault, and found them to be utilized frequently, something she said would be the same in Lonsdale.

“There is nothing in town for the young or senior citizens to go to,” she said.

Another community meeting will be held on Tuesday, August 24 from 7 to 8 :30 p.m. at the Lonsdale American Legion Hall.

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