City Plans for Community Center Expansion
Although it is hard to believe, in 2016 the Shoreview Community Center celebrated its 25th anniversary. This remarkable multi-purpose community center attracts more than 500,000 visitors every year and has truly become the central gathering place for residents of Shoreview. To ensure that the Community Center continues to be an active, vibrant facility that serves the entire community, the City has been studying and planning an expansion to the building for the past few years.
The City Council and Parks & Recreation Commission, and City staff have worked closely with BWBR Architects to develop an expansion plan that will create exciting new amenities and spaces for activities and programs that will further enhance the Center’s appeal to the community. The plan includes two distinct expansion areas.
The City Council approved the construction contracts on October 2, 2017 and construction started on October 23, 2017.
Two Level Addition
The proposed plan includes a two level 15,000 sq. ft. expansion adjacent to the gymnasium. The lower-level expansion space will create a new entrance into the indoor playground area and it will be expanded to provide a larger playground, a greatly improved toddler play area, and improved seating for adults. The lower level also includes a series of four group fitness rooms/studios that will be used for our extensive group fitness classes and youth activities. Finally, the Wave Cafe seating area will be remodeled and expanded and include new booths adjacent to the gym. The upper level of this expansion will include four new multi-purpose meeting and activity rooms that will be accessed from a new hallway off of the Fireside Lounge. These rooms would be used for a variety of activities, including the City’s full-day summer childcare program, expanded art and cultural programs for both youth and adults, as well as general meeting space. There will also be a new outdoor deck accessible from the Fireside Lounge.
The project also includes a 7,000 square foot expansion of the Tropics Indoor Waterpark. The Waterpark expansion a new zero depth shallow water splash pool and major aquatic play structure that includes slides and water sprays. Additionally, the men’s and women’s locker rooms will be renovated and the number of family changing rooms will be increased from two to seven. This is the first major expansion of the pool since 1999.
Improvements Planned for Shoreview Commons Park
When Ramsey County decided to upgrade and reconstruct its new Library adjacent to the current library building, the City felt it was important to update the Master Plan for the entire Shoreview Commons site. The 40-acre Shoreview Commons area, located at the northeast corner of Highway 96 and Victoria Street, includes the Community Center, City Hall, Ramsey County Library, Haffeman Pavilion and surrounding park area. The key goals for this update were to enhance connectivity between facilities, ensure good pedestrian access, and explore the potential for a variety of park improvements to continue to develop Shoreview Commons as the “Central Park” of Shoreview.
Some of the key elements of the updated Commons Master Plan (shown below) include:
- Addition of a large destination playground as an anchor to an active park area, including slides built into the hillside near the intersection of Victoria Street and the entry drive into the Community Center.
- A new park building with restrooms and potentially a concession stand near the destination playground area.
- A new plaza-style skate park that would be located north of the new park building.
- Creation of a plaza and formal decorative pond on the backside of the pavilion that could serve as an outdoor wedding venue. This pond would be surrounded by trails, formal landscape gardens, and possibly a Veteran’s Memorial. The pond could also serve as a unique winter skating rink that would include outdoor fireplace areas.
- Potential development of a landscaped median/walkway to provide an improved pedestrian connection to the new regional library.
- Several other suggested improvements throughout the Commons Park area including improved trail connections, dedicated pickleball courts, and additional pond/storm water treatment options.