City leaders consider renovation options for community center
By Kris Leonhardt
MARSHFIELD — With the Marshfield Public Library’s move into its new facilities, common council members at the Aug. 23 meeting began deliberating on actions to complete Phase II of the library and community center project.
“Phase II is the community center. That is a work in progress,” said City Administrator Steve Barg. “Just to go back into the funding for a second, the plan once upon a time was a $9 million for both the library and the community center. The first part — $7 million for the new library with $4 million coming from the private sector and $3 million from the city — and then Phase II, the renovation of the community center, that was a $2 million project estimated, and that was to come entirely from private fundraising.
“Just to recap where we are right now as far as past actions and approvals by the council, the council did approve a resolution back in 2014 regarding the community center, stipulating in fact that it is was intended there would not be any city funding provided for this project and that the project could go forward even if the total amount of money raised was not as much as expected, provided that the project scope was adjusted to meet the funding available.”
Barg recapped plans for the city’s Park & Recreation Department relocation to the facility to oversee the operations as well as the future residency of the Aging & Disability Resource Center and Marshfield Museum within the building.
“The funding available — what we have from the first phase of the project and the contingency left over from the library — is about $825,000,” said Barg. “Going back to what I said, the private goal for fundraising was $6 million ($4 million for the library and $2 million for the community center). It came in closer to $5 million, so it was $1 million short of the total that had been hoped to raise for Phase I and Phase II construction. Of that $5 million, there will be when the library construction is completed about $825,000 left to put toward Phase II of this project.”
Joe Dolezal, from the Boson Company, discussed the original floor plan, which was estimated at $2.3 million, along with revised plans to reduce costs that involved removing a classroom, group fitness studio, billiards room, and an arts and crafts room from the community center.
“It appears that most of the area that was going to be sectioned off for the senior center, in place of the senior center, seems to have been eliminated,” said Alderperson Alanna Feddick.
“You’re right. There are several spaces there that were key functions for the seniors that would go away under Plan B,” responded Director of Public Works Dan Knoeck. “At the staff level, we talked about, ‘Is this really a functional plan?’ What we’ve tried to do is get something that is down closer to the budget that is available.”
The estimate for Plan A of the community center renovation falls around $1.7 million, while the revised Plan B — minus the center rooms — comes in around $1,550,000.
Council members were presented with several options on minimizing the cost of construction but ultimately were left deliberate on the shortfall in fundraising and the community center project placed before them.
“Our goal is to minimize the amount of city funds required for the community center renovation while not compromising the functionality,” said Barg. “I think when the day is done, we all want to proud of the community center renovation the same way we are of the new library that is going to be opening here shortly.”