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 has worked closely with the Park and Recreation Commission and City staff in developing expansion plans that will continue to enhance the Community Center’s appeal to the community and create exciting new spaces for activities and programs. The proposed concept plans include two distinct expansion areas.
Two Level Addition
There is a 15,000 square foot, two-level addition off the gymnasium. The proposed plan includes an expansion of the indoor playground area that would provide for a larger play structure, additional toddler play area, improved seating and designated areas for parties/small groups. The lower level addition also includes a series of multi-purpose fitness rooms that will be used for both adult and youth fitness classes. The upper level includes new multi-purpose meeting and activity rooms that access from the Fireside Lounge Area. These rooms would be used for a variety of activities including the City’s full-day summer child care program, expanded art and drama programs for youth and adults, as well as general meeting space. In addition, the upper level will also include new restrooms that will better serve the nearby banquet and meeting rooms.
The project also includes a planned 7,250 square foot expansion of the Tropics Indoor Waterpark. The Waterpark expansion will include a new zero depth splash pool with interactive play features and waterslides for children ages 2-12. The new addition will include floor to ceiling windows to allow natural light in the pool area along with an adjacent outdoor plaza area. The plan also calls for significant remodeling to create more family changing rooms. This is the first major expansion of the pool since 1999.
The current plan is to complete design development this spring and solicit bids for the project this summer. Construction is anticipated to begin in the fall with an 8-12 month construction timeframe.
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.