by Heidi L. Everett
At the St. Joseph City Council meeting on April 19, the future Jacob Wetterling recreation center took a step forward into reality. Council approved a motion to solicit proposals for design and construction services.
The proposed site for the center is located approximately four blocks from downtown St. Joseph, east of the St. Joseph Government Center and Little Saints Academy, on 8.35 acres.
The City of Saint-Joseph has been planning a community center for several years and in 2017 a schematic design was completed. When the old Kennedy School building was sold in January 2021, discussions about the community center plan were reopened.
Some of the amenities that the city plans to incorporate into the project include a library, gymnasiums, walking track and fitness area, children’s area, swimming pool, meeting space, St. Joseph Historical Society. and the St. Joseph Food Shelf. Potential exterior features include grassed areas, picnic areas, and a play area. The call for proposals notes that this list is not intended to be exhaustive or to guarantee inclusion.
The project will be funded by a $ 4 million state bond application, and city council has committed $ 6 million from half a dollar of regional sales tax. Additional fundraising efforts will be forthcoming.
Proposals must be submitted by May 20 no later than 4 p.m.
All proposals will be reviewed by an evaluation committee made up of city council, city administrator and director of finance.
Following the review, the assessment committee will draw up a shortlist of the most qualified businesses for in-person presentation at a joint meeting of the community center committee and city council.