Posted by David Fierke on Mar 12, 2018
Rotarians David Fierke and Randy Kuhlman introduced the club members to the proposed Fort Dodge Fine Arts/REC Complex at today's meeting.  The proposal is to incorporate renovation of the former Warden Plaza into a major community project to provide First Class Fitness and Recreation facilities for the public.  A not for profit organization of stakeholders is being assembled under the original guidance of Webster County and the City of Fort Dodge.  A separate entity will be charged with administration/operations.  The concept includes (as suggested by a wide variety of community visioning and private input methods):
  • 120,000 square foot complex to include a 400 space parking ramp that would permit use by the Warden and downtown customers, keep 10th Street open, and serve the Fine Arts and Recreation Centers;
  • Two pools, one a recreational facility and one a larger facility for competitive events;
  • Two basketball courts with an upper walking track;
  • An indoor play area for children ages 2-10;
  • Restaurant/snack bar;
  • Performing Arts Center of performance area, practice rooms, and training facilities.  The performance area will be convertible for conference and meeting space;
  • Health exercise and cardio-vascular facilities of many types (resistance, weight training, Certified Personal Trainers, spin bikes, etc.);
  • The fine arts center, recreation center, and parking ramp have an estimated cost of $32 million;
  • 120 upscale apartments in the old Warden complex (subject to approval by the State Historical Society that would permit the use of Historic Tax Credits that would be used to fund 40% of the Warden's $30-32 million cost;
  • Fund raising for the community/public section of the project will begin in April.  The Historic Tax Credits very critical to funding the renovation of the Warden will be determined in April.