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Park and Rec sees big changes ahead

Submitted photo The New Ulm Recreation Center has been undergoing multiple projects and many of them should be completed by the second half of 2021.

NEW ULM — Construction projects around the City of New Ulm have been ongoing for quite some time, with a few of them nearly 100% complete.

The Amphitheater at German Park nearly finished. The placement of all the structure is complete and the only remaining items of the project involve planting trees, final grading, and sod placement. The shade structure alternate is still not approved at this time due to insufficient funding. The project is scheduled to be completed in the fall of this year.

Additionally, the Johnson Park RENU Project is complete and the Hermann Heights Park RENU and Retaining Wall Project is about 85% complete. The placement of all the wall blocks are complete and site restoration has been completed for the areas surrounding the new retaining wall. The Monument Street and parking lot construction has been graded and curb and gutter installed. Paving and interior park concrete walkways are to be installed soon with site restoration to follow. The entire project is scheduled to be completed in the fall of 2020.

One of the major projects going on right now is the Rec Center RENU Project. The original construction of the project started in July and demolition of the existing locker rooms and pool mechanical room was the first scheduled task.

Next, the demolition of the existing parking lot in the south end of the property was completed. The installation of new building utilities was completed, including sewer and water services. Within the building, the existing pool has been filled in with sand to support the new gymnastic center’s floor.

Submitted photo The indoor pool is undergoing renovation and that project is expected to be complete by the second half of 2021.The pool will include water slides and it will have an area for competitive swimming.

Additionally, the existing women’s locker room has been gutted to become the future Herbeck multipurpose room. The existing Herbeck room was also opened up to become the future strength and fitness space. Currently, there are structural footings being installed to support the new infrastructure of the interior of the building as well as the additional square footage of new building which includes the new pool.

“All the walls, all the lockers have been taken out of there,” Park and Rec employee Ryan Weier said. “For the most part, it’s dedicated to group fitness, like classes and such, but it will also be available for meetings and stuff like that.”

Construction is currently on schedule to be completed in the second half of 2021.

The new pool addition is scheduled to be closed in and weather-tight before the upcoming winter with work commencing within during the winter months. There will also be new features, such as water slides for members to enjoy.

“The new pool addition is going to encompass a designated competition lap pool and more of a separated designated leisure pool with some play features, that’s where the two water slides will dump into,” Weier said. “There’s some shallow leisure areas and there’s a wall for the laps area.”

Construction on the women’s locker room is also underway.

Additionally, the strength and fitness areas will be combined into one area. This area will also allow for 24 hour access once ready and members can use a key card to gain access to the building.

“Those two spaces are combined in the new design so they aren’t separated and it’s a very open concept,” Weier said. “It’s right in the center, right when you walk in, it has access for all areas of the building. With that, it will allow us to become a 24/7 fitness center.”

The Vogel Fieldhouse and the racquetball courts are the only areas still available for member use, with the cardio and strength equipment being located within the fieldhouse and also available for members. Fitness classes are being held as well as open pickleball. A membership or punch card is required at this time to use the facility.

Submitted photo Above: The strength center is another area that will be updated once the construction is compete at the New Ulm Recreation Center.

Submitted photo The new entry way for the New Ulm Park and Recreation Center.

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