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Because construction on both structures would happen simultaneously, “there’s an economies of scale that you can reach by having a joint project that you would not reach” if you built either one alone, Shukle said.
While the center’s exact amenities haven’t been decided, the idea is to “make it so multipurpose you can use it for anything,” Helgerson said.
The gyms would have rubberized floors, and possibly a climbing wall and game area for smaller kids, he said. Senior citizens would have a safe place to walk year-round, too.
One thing that won’t be included is an indoor pool, which some community members wanted. Operating a six-lane indoor pool in Minnesota costs about $350,000 a year, which is just too expensive for a small city like Jordan, Helgerson said.
Amenity for families
Ben Kalow, a member of the “Yes for Jordan” group which supports both referendum questions, said it makes sense for the city and the school district to work together on the project. “It’s an opportunity for them to come together and do something that neither of them could do on their own.”
And with a total of four gyms at the middle school, Jordan could hold indoor tournaments, bringing in revenue, Kalow said.
Helgerson said that with neighboring Shakopee adding 4,000 jobs in the coming years, some of those people may consider building or buying a home in Jordan. A community center would make the city more attractive to families, he said.
Middle school teacher Ansley Peters said she supports the community center because “it is an important piece in the health of our community.”
Helgerson said he hopes taxpayers will see the value of both referendum questions. He noted that by using the existing middle school structure, the project will cost $12 million less than if they started from scratch.
“I feel that we’ve put a product out there that’s responsible to the taxpayer and also builds something that is needed,” he said.
Erin Adler • 952-746-3283