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Reedsburg discusses improvements for recreation center, art mural at Nishan Park
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Reedsburg discusses improvements for recreation center, art mural at Nishan Park

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The Reedsburg Parks and Recreation Committee discussed potential future changes to enhance the recreation center, located in the basement of city hall, to bring it up to present day standards at its July 21 meeting. No action was taken.

“The uses of the rec center have been changing over the years from less of a kid focus to more of a community focus,” Matt Scott, parks and recreation director, said. “I’d like to modernize it towards the change that’s happening.”

Scott said he wants to update features in the building, like the snack bar and the furniture, some of which dates back to 1971. In that time, the recreation center was geared more towards the youth as a gathering place. Over the years the use of the room has changed. Currently, the recreation center is a meeting place for civic groups and a polling place for residents to vote in elections.

The building also hosts the parks and recreation office, which is moving with construction of a building on South Wengel Drive which will also host the parks department office.

Scott said he’d like to see more modifications for meeting areas to split the large room into smaller spaces for multiple groups to meet, with curtains for dividers which can be removed for elections. He’s also received requests to rent the room out as a banquet area for bridal showers and other indoor celebrations. Scott said he doesn’t let private parties use the space but it’s only available for civic groups, youth group and non-profit groups to meet. A policy would need to be put in place for the general public to use the space.

“We could expand our uses,” Scott said.

Many committee members discussed potential upgrades for the room and spoke in favor of the changes.

“This is a great area to take advantage of,” Phil Peterson, chairperson of the committee, said.

City Administrator Tim Becker said July 30 money for the renovations of the recreation center is in the capital improvement plan for 2021 and it will be up to the parks and recreation committee to decide how they want the space utilized and city staff will come up with a plan to complete it.

Art mural

The arts committee is hoping to set up a painted mural at a scoreboard in Nishan Park.

Arts Committee Chairperson Glenn Slack shared plans with the parks and recreation committee to place a mural on a scoreboard at Nishan Park. Slack said the committee plans to put out a request for proposal this fall for a permanent mural at one of the scoreboards at the park facing Viking Drive.

The main concept of the piece is to recognize Reedsburg as the founding place for Little League baseball in Wisconsin. The piece would be decided by next winter and completed in the spring or summer months.

Funds could be designated to the project in next year’s budget. Peterson liked the idea of putting a mural at Nishan Park.

“It will be a huge asset to the city and to that park,” he said.

Slack said the committee received a grant from the Sauk County University of Wisconsin Arts and Cultural Committee for under $5,000. He is estimated between $13,000 to $15,000 for the project, including the artist fee.

2021 capital budgets

The committee discussed and approved the capital improvement and capital equipment budgets for 2021 for the parks department. Items listed include $350,000 for the splash pad, $150,000 for renovations of the city park restrooms, $25,000 to redo parking lots and $30,000 for park improvements, including plans to build pickle ball courts. Equipment includes $12,000 for a mower, $5,000 for a mower trailer and $7,500 for two pull grooming mowers.

Follow Erica Dynes on Twitter @EDynes_CapNews or contact her at 608-393-5346.

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