The meeting will happen the evening of October 23 with a location to be announced in the coming weeks.
Looking ahead to the Crookston City Council’s Strategic Planning Session in early 2020, Parks & Recreation Director Scott Riopelle and City Administrator Shannon Stassen thought the Park Board might want to consider having a brainstorming session to think about the Crookston Sports Center’s future amenities. They’re also hoping to host a community discussion on October 23 with interested parties who organize or attend events held at the CSC, and others who might contribute to the dialogue.
Riopelle said they’re not looking for ideas on programming, but rather how to grow the facility.
“Do we have more turf? Do we add locker rooms? Do we put on a sports bubble? Add meeting space? An area to accommodate some of our dance classes?” he offered. “An addition would be quite costly and we don’t have that kind of money on-hand, but some brainstorming will help us come up with a list.”
Stassen said the city’s strategic planning will happen in late February or early March so brainstorming prior to that and “molding a document” out of their “wish list” will add to the city’s discussion about the CSC, which celebrates its 10th anniversary of being open in 2020.
“Don’t come in with any restriction, come in with your biggest dreams,” Stassen suggested.
“No idea is a bad idea,” added Parks & Rec Supervisor Scott Butt.
Stassen thought they should invite community partners to the table like the University of Minnesota Crookston, Crookston School District, Ox Cart Days organizers, local sports groups and associations, etc.
Later in the conversation, Park Board member Derek Martin asked the group if it was being considered to take out one of the sheets of ice at the CSC for cost savings and was answered with a quick, “No, not this year.” The thought stems from a comment made by Ward 5 City Council member Dale Stainbrook during a late August City Council Ways & Means Committee meeting when talking about budgets and saving money at the CSC. Stainbrook asked if it was worth the city having turf in the Gold Arena year-round if it meant they would save $30,000-$50,000. He also added in that meeting that teams all used one rink “back in the day.” Also at that August meeting, Ward 1 City Council member Jake Fee commented saying he didn’t want kids having to practice late and wake up early to get ice time.
Park Board member Becky Kofoed thought the group should set “boundaries” for the upcoming community discussion with the public if the city is not looking to add more sheets of ice at the CSC in the future.
“If we are dreaming big then maybe a fourth sheet of ice is an option,” Martin responded.
“You might hear fourth (sheet) ice and you might hear two (sheets) ice,” added Park Board Vice Chair Mike LaFrance when considering what people might suggest at the open discussion.
Note: Location of the community discussion will be announced in the upcoming weeks.