BSC Expansion Project
The “air bubble” domed field house at Bielenberg Sports Center (BSC) has a life expectancy of 15 to 20 years and it kicked off its 17th indoor season in January 2012. The interior “turf” is wearing thin and needs to be replaced, the doors and lighting need upgrading, and the exterior fabric on the bubble is nearing the end of its useful life.
The City Council has approved a $21.8 million proposal to remove and replace the domed field house with a larger, permanent building. The city’s population has doubled since the “dome” opened in 1995 and an expanded facility – from its current 50,000 square feet to approximately 90,000 square feet – will better serve residents now and as the city continues to grow. Construction is scheduled to begin in April 2013. The expanded facility would open in spring 2014.
The field house is primarily used by the local athletic association for soccer and indoor baseball/softball. The public also uses the walking/running track. The expanded facility will increase capacity during high-peak times, create additional space for new programs/activities such as football and lacrosse, and allow for community-wide events.
In February of 2012, the city formed a citizen task force to study design options for expanding the field house.
After 13 thorough discussions since February 2012, the task force recommended enhancing the preliminary project proposal with several features, including:
- an outdoor refrigerated recreational skating rink;
- a building for storing vehicles and equipment to maintain the outdoor fields;
- a geothermal heating/cooling system;
- solar panels for heating the water in the building;
- a standing seam metal roof that will last 50 years;
- an arched roof design;
- windows to welcome natural light; and
- upgrading the existing indoor skating rink exteriors to meet the city’s architectural standards.
In addition, an interactive water feature and solar panels to provide supplemental electricity could be bid as project alternates.View design plans - Updated Feb. 21 Pope Associates Inc. is providing architectural services; Kraus-Anderson will manage construction services.
The new permanent building would be constructed just south of the current field house, where the current playground structure sits today.
Interior Tour: Field House
To reduce heating costs inside the “dome,” the current field house temperature in the winter is maintained at below 50 degrees. This can become uncomfortable at times for users, especially for friends and family members watching participants from the sidelines. Replacing the dome with a permanent structure would create a more comfortable space during winter and increase its year-round use.In addition, the city is planning other opportunities for more energy savings. For example, there may be potential for using the warm air rejected to cool the ice rinks to heat the expanded field house.
The city has been planning to address the aging field house since 2010. The bonds issued via the 1994 referendum to construct BSC will be paid off in 2015, and bonds issued to acquire open space property in 1998 will be paid off in 2019. To help fund the BSC expansion project, the city will continue these revenue sources for the new bonding. Therefore, no tax increase will be needed for this project.
The proceeds scheduled to be released from these bonds, plus approximately $4.5 million from city reserves and $461,000 in equity contributions from the Park Dedication Fund are expected to pay for the expansion.