SARTELL -- Designs on what the 53,000 square-foot Sartell Community Center will look like were brought forth during tonight's (Monday) city council meeting.

Plans have the $11.8 million-dollar facility including a senior center, learning and innovation center, multi-purpose rooms, three full size gymnasiums, a second floor walking track, locker rooms, and space for future growth.

Sartell Mayor Sarah Jane Nicoll says it's going to be a facility all residents will be able to enjoy.

"It's definately capturing that 0-100 age group and really finding opportunities to serve everyone in the community. From the senior center to the gym space and I think the most important part in this is what's programmed inside of it," says Nicoll.

Back in August the council voted 3-2 on the Ferche Town Square location (next to Chateau Waters) for the community center. However several members of the community believe the council acted too quickly when talking about a library.

Nancy Van Erp is with the Sartell Friends of the Library and says many residents feel the council isn't giving them the library they voted for.

"There is a feeling the community center isn't coming together the way people had hoped. People really believe there is a great synergy in having the community center and library in the hub and close to schools," says Van Erp.

A petition was present to the council in hopes to have the Sartell Friends of the Library, the council and members of the Great River Regional Library to collaborate on the best design for a library space.

Plans have the community center including a 2,100 squar-foot "learning center" which is different then a Great River Regional Library branch. Sartell resident I-Jung Lee says having a great library system will only benefit the community.

"When you have a good school and a good library as support, you will have residents continue to stay here and people from other cities want to live here," says Lee.

No action was taken on the designs, but the council did unanimously approve to continue discussion about the library space.

"We're still working with them (Great River Regional Library) and seeing what we can provide but the Friends of the Library is also asking that they (GRRL) look at other opportunities for a library branch in the city of Sartell, says Nicoll.

To keep up with their timeline, the council would need to approve design schematics, cost and hear public input by the end of the month.

The city would like to begin construction on the community center this Summer.

(Photo: HMA Architects)
(Photo: HMA Architects)