Town Talk: You ask, we answer: RENU update

What is going on with the plans for the Recreation Center (Vogel Fieldhouse) expansion?

New Ulm’s local ½ percent sales tax will fund a $9,500,000 construction cost, expansion and remodel of the Recreation Center at 122 S. Garden St. Concept renderings are complete and the final design is being prepared. If anyone is interested in taking a look at the concept renderings, please feel free to contact me.

Please keep in mind, these renderings are from the schematic design phase. They are subject to change throughout the final design phase, but we are very excited to move forward with a fresh, new look to your Recreation Center!

New Indoor Aquatic Facility to include 3 brand new pools; a 6-lane lap pool, whirlpool and recreational pool with zero-depth entry equipped with spray features, basketball ball hoop and additional optional amenities that is connected to a current channel. A current channel looks like a small version of a lazy river that has a light current. Swimmers and non-swimmers can move against the current for a great therapeutic workout with virtually no impact on the joints. Tucked between the two large pools and current channel will be two runout slides, which have a straight runway at the end of the slide as opposed to dropping into a pool of water, and possibly a ninja-style ropes course and zipline. Attached to the pool area will be three new locker rooms, for men, women and families.

Tucked in by the aquatic center and playground will be a new multipurpose room for meetings, parties and other events.

Indoor Playground will be located adjacent to the new aquatic center. This is a totally new amenity the community will enjoy!

Brand new Gymnastics Facility will be housed in the remodeled indoor pool and leased to Turner Gymnastics Academy. If anyone has attended a gymnastics event in New Ulm, they will really appreciate this new space!

New Fitness Center will be housed in what is now the Herbeck Rooms. Those walls will be taken down and the space opened up to the new exterior wall and entrance to the Recreation Center, providing about 3,000 square feet of new co-located strength and cardio fitness space. Additional and much needed weight lifting equipment and additional cardio equipment will be added to this space.

The Herbeck Rooms will move to the existing women’s locker room, which will be remodeled and opened up for a fresh, new space to hold fitness classes, meetings and parties.

Welcome desk will be relocated to the new entrance of the building, which will be in the center of the building and the existing welcome desk will be our new spin studio.

Park and Recreation Department Admin offices will be relocated into the existing strength center. The space will house five Department staff that are currently scattered in office spaces throughout the building.

Vogel Fieldhouse won’t see many changes, other than the existing cardio center will be repurposed into programming and multipurpose space.

What’s next: Bidding will take place in the winter of 2019. Construction will begin in the spring of 2020 and will not be completed until summer of 2021. The various areas will be completed in phases, so construction does not take place all at once. The construction time will probably be messy, but hopefully as least disruptive as possible. One thing for all of us to remember is to keep your eye on the prize; the FINISH LINE of completion in 2021!

Editor’s Note: The City of New Ulm presents a weekly column highlighting activities in different departments in the city government. Once a month the city will answer questions from readers. Questions on New Ulm city issues can be sent to comments@ci.new-ulm.mn.us.