SAUK RAPIDS - Sauk Rapids has big plans of creating a multi-purpose event complex along the Mississippi River. They're in the early stages of developing a facility in Lions Park, just south of the old Sauk Rapids bridge overlook.

City Administrator Ross Olson says designs include two gyms.

A multi-purpose athletic facility, about 13,000 square feet with a multi-purpose floor in it with enough rooms for two full courts.

There would also be a medium sized event center, as well as some outdoor elements including a bandshell.

With an open area that will accommodate somewhere between 2,000 and 3,000 people.  Not some big huge concert, kind of an intimate atmosphere where we can have music in the park.

Sauk Rapids officials are shifting their focus away from a fieldhouse at the high school, and turning their attention to the river. Olson says talks with the school district to build a joint field house have stalled out.

The city council wanted to move forward with something that is served by our community and is more centrally located by downtown, and bring the region to our downtown.

The total cost for the project is estimated at about $7 million. The half-cent sales tax money would be used to pay for it.

The city would need approval from the DNR before the project can move forward.

If all goes well, they could break ground as soon as the fall of next year, with the bulk of construction happening in 2019.

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