News Flash

Community News

Posted on: December 23, 2016

Riverwind Building Faces Uncertain Future

COON RAPIDS, Minn. -- A city building, used throughout the year by several groups in the community, could soon be downsized or torn down.

The Coon Rapids City Council is discussing what the future of the Riverwind Community Center should be, with upgrades to the park on the way.

“When I was little, I used to come swimming here, when they had the pool,” Jessica Comstock, a Girl Scouts Troops Leader and Service Unit Manager, said.

Swimming is a memory many have of Riverwind Park, where its building has housed Girl Scout meetings, the Element Teen Center, a church congregation, birthday parties and get-togethers.

City Recreation Coordinator Ryan Gunderson, who manages the Teen Center, said the building costs reach $12,000 annually to keep the half-century-old building in use.

“City staff is in the process of working with consultant to do some structural analysis of the building. And seeing what the feasibility and costs would be to either save parts of the structure or build a new structure,” Gunderson said.

With some heating and door issues, council member Ron Manning said there is an interest in keeping at least part of the building there.

“There was some real sentiment toward trying to save part of it because it's been there a long time and it means something to those that used it in years past,” Manning said.

Thanks to the 2013 park bond, Riverwind will see upgrades with new pickleball and basketball courts, trails, parking lot and pavement in 2018. The building isn't part of that plan.

Comstock said there is a strong attachment to the building from the scouts, but that the most important thing to her is to have enough meeting space in that location.

“The girls also have a sentimental attachment to the history of the building and would like to see that stay here, and the mural of course that the girl scouts painted,” Comstock said.

“All of the park improvements that they've been doing around have been amazing and of course they just don't have the money to fix all of the parks the way everybody would want them all fixed up.”

Gunderson said it's important to make the best decision for the parks' future.

“The parks go a long ways in community development and helping draw young families to our community and making our community vibrant.”

Gunderson said the building's future will be discussed at a public open house on Jan. 9.

(Copyright 2016 by CTN Coon Rapids.  All Rights Reserved.)

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