The Bloomington City Council was expected to vote Monday night on whether to move forward with the predesign phase of the proposed community center at Valley View Park, despite opposition from neighbors.
The meeting went into early Tuesday and the proposal was one of the last agenda items. Many residents wore green “Save Valley View Park” T-shirts.
The cost of the predesign services is not to exceed $768,000 and the contract that council members considered is structured so the council can cancel the work at any point.
As a part of the contract, next steps include additional community engagement to determine what amenities will be included in the facility.
From there, a predesign report will outline a park master plan and look at the cost of the project. That work is expected to be completed by March 2020.
A community task force in 2016 recommended that the City Council evaluate options for a new community center.
Several locations were considered, most recently the existing Creekside Community Center site at 9801 Penn Avenue and Bloomington Civic Plaza.
But both were determined to be too small for a facility that included the amenities identified by the task force.
Because the city is subsidizing the aging Creekside Center and the Valley View outdoor pool at about $1 million each, the City Council asked staffers to explore placing the new community center at Valley View as a more economical option.
For months, a group of residents has loudly opposed placing a community center at Valley View Park, saying that community engagement efforts were aimed at what would be included in the center, rather than its location.
The city worked this fall with an architectural firm to collect resident input through drop-in events, surveys, meetings and online comment cards.
Site and traffic studies were also completed, showing five potential configurations of the facility — each of which promised to add to Valley View Park’s green space.