Aug 19, 2013 at 11:17 am
ST. CLOUD (KNSI) - More steps will be taken tonight in the process of creating a full-scale aquatic center in St. Cloud in the next few years.
The St. Cloud City Council is hosting a study session at the St. Cloud area YMCA on the project, Monday evening at 6:15.
The city approved $10 million in local sales tax dollars for the project in 2004, and last year, began looking for a operational and financial partner.
That partner is the YMCA, and St. Cloud Mayor Dave Kleis tells KNSI the project would not be moving forward without that collaboration.
"It's going to take about $22 million to build, and not only do we need a partner to step up and help build it, but we also need a partner to help operate it," Kleis says. "If the city was to operate it alone, it would take $500,000 a year. That would be doubling our current Park and Recreation budget."
Other city projects - including the new St. Cloud Public Library, several parks and trails projects, and work on the St. Cloud Regional Airport - have been completed with the help of those voter-approved sales tax dollars, and Kleis says the aquatic center is the final project in the list.
The aquatic center, to be located at Whitney Park, will include swimming pools, a climbing wall, gymnasiums and fitness space.
A preliminary site concept calls for a 130,000 square foot community aquatics building, with the potential for up to a 30,000 square foot expansion, and 280 additional off-street parking spaces.
Kleis says they hope to break ground within the next three years.
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