Type: Municipal

Addition size: 10,000 square feet

Cost: $5.4 million

Developer: Fridley Parks & Recreation Dept.

Architects: Partners & Sirny Architects

Details: An expansion and rehabilitation of the interpretive building at Fridley’s Springbrook Nature Center, part of a two-phase overhaul at the entrance to the 127-acre park, is about to get underway.

Bids were let for the $5.4 million project after the Fridley City Council approved the specs at its April 13 meeting. They call for a new structure of around 10,000 square feet as well as the rehabilitation of the existing 5,000-square-foot interpretive building at the 85th Avenue NE. entry to the preserve, hailed as one of best bird-watching spots in the metro area.

Funding for the upgrade was partly provided through a $5 million allocation in the 2014 state capital bonding bill, with the rest coming from donations raised by the Springbrook Nature Center Foundation. The group has set a spring 2016 occupancy goal.

The designs for the new building, developed by Minneapolis-based Partners & Sirny Architects, are meant to enhance the nature education experience at Springbrook. It will feature large vestibules to provide enough room for both arriving school groups and the general public, new restrooms and two new classrooms.

Its focal point will be a large central multiuse space capable of holding 250 people for sit-down meals and more for lectures, with partitions capable of dividing it into three smaller spaces. The room will boast floor-to-ceiling windows, providing sweeping views of the natural areas.

 

Don Jacobson is a freelance writer in St. Paul. He can be contacted at hotproperty.startribune@gmail.com.