Ramsey County will rebuild the Vadnais Sports Center's dome, which collapsed under the weight of the late-season blizzard that shut down much of the metro area last April.
Remaining questions include exactly how much it will cost and how long a new fabric roof might last once it is up. The dome came down once before, in a snowstorm only a month after it opened in 2010.
The county estimates it can replace the dome with a reinforced truss structure for about $3 million. It will be working with sports groups and community members to help raise that money, county spokeswoman Kristi Saksvig said.
The County Board has asked the Parks and Recreation Department to start looking into construction options, costs and timelines. The hope is to rebuild the facility with a stronger roof and steel supports, Saksvig said.
Parks officials will hold several events over the next three months to talk about what people would like to see done at the sports center's fieldhouse. They will report to the board in the spring with detailed construction options and projected costs, Saksvig said.
The sports center was built in 2010 by the city of Vadnais Heights for $26.5 million. City officials said the sports center was never supposed to cost taxpayers money, and issued bonds on behalf of a nonprofit group called Community Facility Partners to build it.
But after revenue projections proved to be wildly optimistic and failed to cover costs, Community Facility Partners started missing bond payments on the sports center.
The city propped it up for a few years, spending about $6 million on bond payments and legal fees. But the sports center proved to be a financial disaster for Vadnais Heights and everyone who invested with the city to build it.
Ramsey County bought the facility in 2014 for $10.5 million, less than half of what it cost to build just four years earlier. It was put up for sale in 2013.