Exploring new community center options
Plans for a new community center designed to better serve all of Bloomington are in the works. Surveys conducted over the past two years have found the majority of residents support a more modern and comprehensive community center. The current Creekside Community Center at 9801 Penn Avenue South has outlived its useful life. A new upgraded facility would provide even more opportunities for programming for all ages.
Last winter, after evaluating the existing Creekside site and Bloomington Civic Plaza as potential locations, the City Council directed staff to develop plans for a possible community center facility at Valley View Park. The location at 90th Street between Nicollet and Portland avenues is currently home to Bloomington Family Aquatic Center.
New pool space considerations
The land at Valley View is City-owned and large enough to accommodate the amenities a modern community center would feature. Building at this site would also allow the City to address the aging pool facility by adding a new, significant outdoor aquatic amenity along with a year-round indoor aquatic facility as part of the project.
Red Haddox Field and the Kent Hrbek Fields would remain untouched; however, the preliminary plan for the Valley View site could result in the loss of three ballfields. If fields are removed, some events would need to relocate, including a portion of the Firemen’s Tournament. The City would work closely with event organizers to find suitable alternate event sites, including Dred Scott Playfields.
The project is still in its initial phases, and the City will be seeking residents’ input on design and programming. The costs for constructing a new community center will depend on the building design, program elements and size to be finalized by the Council in early 2020. With the number of steps required for planning, design, funding and construction, it could take up to four years before a community center is built and operational if the project moves forward.
Possibilities for funding
A funding source for a new facility has not been determined. A bond referendum, lease revenue bonds and charter bonds are all possible resources. For more information, visit blm.mn/communitycenter or call 952-563-8896.