St. JOSEPH – St. Joseph’s future Jacob Wetterling Recreation Center has taken one more step toward becoming a reality.

The project is slated to receive $4 million following passage of a nearly $2 billion bonding package by state legislators. The city requested $4 million for the project.

The total cost to build the recreation center is estimated at $16 million.

The construction of a multi-generational community center in St. Joseph has been a hot topic for decades. Mayor Rick Schultz says city officials have been working hard to get funding for the recreation center on the bonding list since last year.

“We hired a lobbyist,” Schultz said. “I’ve been in contact with legislators and the senators on the Capital Investment Committee. They were here last year. So, we knew (the recreation center) was on everybody’s list – it was on the House, Senate, and Governor’s bills for bonding.”

The center is slated to be built on a 15-acre parcel of land adjacent to the St. Joseph Government Center, located at 75 Callaway Street E. The land includes the Colts Academy building, which is currently on the market.

“It looks as if we will be selling that building,” Schultz said. “That changes our landscape. Our intent was to connect city hall to the west side of Colts Academy as one big community building. That might change here in the near future.”

 

“There’s plenty of land for the community center – from scratch or using Colts Academy,” he added.

Schultz says the next step is to wait and see if the sale of Colts Academy is finalized.

“We’re going to take a deep breath now,” he said. “We need to take a step back, and then we can gather our troops. We need to see where we’re at with the sale of the building, or not the sale, what the new design will be like, who needs to get involved when it comes to using the bonding money, and the processes and procedures around that.”

Governor Tim Walz Wednesday signed the $1.87 billion bonding bill, making it the largest in Minnesota’s history.