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Community center project

Community Center Update from the City Manager

The City Council directed staff to develop plans for a new community center at the Valley View complex. For the past year or so we have been focused on the area around Civic Plaza and the existing Creekside Community Center, so the emergence of Valley View as an option may be surprising to some. I want to quickly explain that and give you an idea what will be happening in the next couple months.

The City Council appointed a Community Center Task Force in fall 2015 to provide Council with a framework for making decisions regarding a potential new community center. The 17-member task force included 11 residents, three City staff, two City Commissioners and one City Council member. The task force met eight times between April and August 2016. Members analyzed market trends and space needs, studied a 2015 needs assessment report and toured community centers in other cities. 

Task force documents

Task force findings

The task force determined that the current Creekside building was no longer a viable option, adding that making major improvements to the building were not worth the return on investment.

The task force recommended that the City replace Creekside with a facility that would attract and retain people of all ages, families, diverse community members and current users. Amenities such as a gymnasium, aquatics, indoor playground, walking/running track, and large and small multipurpose rooms should be included in a new community center, according to the task force.

Other recommendations:

  • Locate the facility on a site of at least 8 – 10 acres in a central location with access to transit and trails.
  • Seek out partnership opportunities to mitigate the tax impact on property owners.
  • Consider bonding and other financing options available to the City for construction of a new community center.

Memo of Understanding with YMCA

As a result of the task force’s recommendations, City staff engaged in discussions with the YMCA of the Greater Twin Cities on a possible community center collaboration. In August 2017, the two parties agreed to a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to formalize discussions and create a framework within which the City and YMCA would enter into a partnership to build a shared site community center in Bloomington. 

The Memorandum of Understanding established the formation of a Community Center Stakeholder Working Group made up of representatives from the City of Bloomington and YMCA. The group meets on a regular basis to advance the project and achieve the milestones specified in the Memorandum of Understanding.

The City’s representatives to the stakeholder working group are:

  • Jon Oleson, former City Council Member
  • John Stanley, Community Center Task Force Member
  • Diann Kirby, Community Services Director


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