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New Task Force to Study Community Center Issue

The group will look at different facilities—and amenities—that St. Louis Park could use.

As the City of St. Louis Park explores whether it should build a new community recreation center, a group of residents have been pegged to help the process move along.

On Monday, City Council appointed 21 people to serve on a Community Recreation Facility Task Force, which is expected to begin meeting next month and will provide input and recommendations to the council as the planning process develops.

The city has not outlined any specific project plans at this point, but is evaluating the idea due to public support. In a survey done last year, St. Louis Park residents expressed interest in additional recreational resources. In particular, residents said they were either very interested or somewhat interested in the following amenities:

  • Indoor pool (71 percent of respondents)
  • Indoor walking/running track (69 percent)
  • Fitness and exercise area (68 percent)
  • Areas to socialize (53 percent)
  • Indoor playground area (52 percent)
  • Gymnasium space (50 percent)

The task force is expected to meet regularly over the next six to nine months, though there is no set timeline for when the city might break ground on a potential project.

The new task force members come from various parts of the community. Athletic director Andy Ewald and community education director Lisa Greene will represent the school district. Laurie Hynes of the St. Louis Park Girls Fastpitch Program will represent local youth sports leagues. Chuck Souvignier, who owns , will lend a business perspective. A number of neighborhood associations will also have representatives on the task force.

Task force meetings will be open to the public.

Joe January 18, 2012 at 02:28 PM
Park High swimming has grown into a powerhouse in the last 7-8 years, primarily due to the coaching ability of Amanda Forsberg. Both Park and Benilde share inadequate swimming facilities that do not allow for diving teams. The task force should look at how a new facility can accommodate the needs of both swim programs.

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