Eden Prairie city officials are taking lessons learned from their 3-year-old Staring Lake Park building and putting them into plans for a new building at Round Lake Park.
They’ve incorporated a rentable community room into the design for a new, 4,293-square-foot building that would replace the 40-year-old restrooms and skating rink warming house at Round Lake. That’s because the current, smaller building isn’t rented at all, whereas the relatively new park building at Staring Lake Park is tallying more than 60 rentals a year, according to Matt Bourne, the city’s parks and natural resources manager.
Bourne, who presented park-building plans to the Eden Prairie Planning Commission on Monday, Oct. 10, said city staff are building on the Staring Lake model by adding a number of sustainability features to the Round Lake Park proposal: solar panels atop part of the building; a low-maintenance “green” roof with 6-inch plants on another portion; and a rain garden and other stormwater-management features nearby.
City council review of the project is expected in November, with the final design and an invitation for construction bids also planned for later this year.
Bourne told the commission that the 1982 building at Round Lake Park had “definitely kind of run its course of life.” The city is seeking to provide new, more usable space that includes not only more modern bathrooms but also a community room able to be rented for graduation parties, family reunions, and more, he added, noting that the room could accommodate 60 to 80 persons.
Design changes are still being made, but Bourne said the exterior building materials would include a lot of glass on the lake side of the building, and panels of metal and fiber cement elsewhere. A recent change is the addition of a fireplace.
Some sound-deadening materials are being added to the interior design because officials have learned from its Staring Lake Park building that extensive use of interior wood seems to amplify crowd noise.
No vote was asked or taken, but the project drew favorable comments from the planning commission Monday. “I was really pleased with how the building looked,” said Commissioner Carole Mette.
Members did ask what care and maintenance would be required from the green roof. “It will be our first experience with it” on a city building, Bourne responded. Because of that, he added, officials intentionally kept it to short, low-care plants that grow in trays.
Commission members also suggested signage that promotes the building’s sustainability features, and explains how similar features might be added to a home.
The city’s parks commission has also endorsed the building project.
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