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Posted on: December 6, 2019

Boulevard Plaza Possible Site Expansion

Blvd Plaza Possible Expansion

The Coon Rapids City Council is considering a possible recreational facility at the site of Boulevard Plaza, located near 11000 Crooked Lake Blvd.

The Coon Rapids Ice Center, located at 11000 Crooked Lake Blvd., opened in September 2011 as part of a long-term concept plan to create a Coon Rapids Community Center hub along Coon Rapids Boulevard. The Ice Center features state-of-the-art indoor ice, as well as one of the few outdoor refrigerated ice rinks in the state. In 2018, outdoor park space was added featuring a large playground and splash pad. The space around the Coon Rapids Ice Center, known as “Boulevard Plaza,” also hosts annual events and activities such as the Farmers Market and Fourth of July festivities. Now, the City of Coon Rapids, in collaboration with local youth organizations and other community partners, is exploring the idea of additional expansion at the Boulevard Plaza/Ice Center site.

What is Proposed?
In early 2019, City Staff and the City Council began preliminary research to evaluate possible expansion options, which could increase community space at the existing Coon Rapids Ice Center facility. As part of the research, comments were gathered from the Parks and Recreation Commission, local youth athletic and civic organizations, and the Anoka-Hennepin School District to determine the needs for community space in the city. The research and comments resulted in the following list of options that could include:

  • Open air shelter for existing outdoor ice rink (A)
  • Indoor playground, multipurpose meeting and party space and additional locker rooms (B)
  • 3 full court performance gyms (can be divided into 6 practice courts) (C)
  • Indoor walking track (C)
  • Fieldhouse with turf (D)*

Possible Expansion Plan Drawing with notes (PDF)

Watch the Proposed Schematic Design Video here created in June 2020

When Will the Council Vote?
The City Council has NOT approved an expansion plan. During an October 2019 City Council Work Session, the Council directed staff to continue the design process and begin determining possible cost and revenue estimates, financing methods and potential timelines. At a work session December 10, the City Council directed staff to move forward with schematic design with hma architects. This is a progress/research step in the process, but still does not mean the expansion is approved.

August 2020 Update on Schematic Design
hma architects provided the Coon Rapids City Council with more detail on the proposed plan at a work session in the summer of 2020. The plan is not approved but continues to be in the research phase. The City Council is receptive to the plan but due to economic uncertainty related to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the council has decided to wait on further action at this time. The Council encourages the public to provide public input and will re-evaluate the project in 2021.

Why Expand?
The City Council has not yet approved an expansion of a recreation facility, however, creating more community space and improving the Coon Rapids Boulevard corridor are part of the City’s 2040 long-range plan.

During the 2040 Comprehensive Plan process, residents participated in the 2016 National Citizen Survey, and completed surveys both online and in person regarding the City’s long-range goals. Throughout all of the resident surveys, Coon Rapids Boulevard was consistently identified as a corridor in need of improvements. The 2016 National Citizen Survey demonstrated that respondent’s top priority for the City is development along Coon Rapids Boulevard. The survey results also revealed the high value residents place on parks, trails, and community facilities.

Public Participation
The City has been collecting preliminary public comment online from December 2019 to March 2021. Stories about the possible expansion have been communicated in the City's newsletter, on the City website and through CTN Community Television. If the City Council decides to move forward with continual design and possible building of the facility, there will be more opportunities for public comment.  

Other plan variations developed by the architect:

Possible Expansion Plan 5B
Possible Expansion Plan 8A

*The Anoka-Hennepin School Board recently approved adding synthetic turf practice and playing fields at all five of its high schools. This decision may lend itself to a partnership opportunity between the City and the school district as it relates to the needs for turf space in the community, but these ideas are preliminary and no final decisions have been made.

Watch the video below from December 2019 with additional background information.

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