Boring at Vogel to determine soil suitability

Staff photo by Clay Schuldt Stakes with pink ribbons mark the locations in which soil samples were taken to determine if the ground was suitable for constructing four of the seven RENU projects.

NEW ULM — Soil borings were obtained around the Vogel Fieldhouse on Monday and Tuesday. These samples will determine if the grounds at the fieldhouse are suitable to support RENU projects planned for the site.

RENU stands for Reinvest in New Ulm, an effort to fund city infrastructure improvements with a half-percent local sales tax.

Park and Recreation Facility Maintenance Supervisor Ryan Wire said a total of eight soil samples were taken. These samples are part of preliminary steps to see if any of several proposed RENU projects can be constructed at the fieldhouse.

In 2016, voters approved an extension to a one-half percent sales tax to construct seven new projects in New Ulm. Of the seven projects, it is hoped an indoor waterpark expansion, gymnastic center, fitness center and indoor playground can be constructed at the Vogel Fieldhouse/Recreation Center. However, the condition of the soil surrounding the building might make this impossible.

The ground around the fieldhouse was once swamp lands and the ground might not be able support the footings to a new building. To determine the feasibility of the project the city approved the taking of soil borings.

Wire said the initial samples taken show the location is looking fairly suitable, but a full analysis will be conducted to ensure it is safe to build. Wire estimated it would take two to three weeks to complete the analysis.

If the fieldhouse location proves impossible to build on, the city will need to find a new location for these four RENU projects.