The Southwest Minnesota Amateur Sports Commission (SMASC) has announced an updated phased schedule for the construction of the new regional sports facility that will be built in the City of Marshall as well as its support for a 2014 State bonding request to Governor Dayton that is scheduled for City Council approval tomorrow evening.
The SMASC lobbied in partnership with the City of Marshall this spring to secure an additional $4 million dollars from the Minnesota House of Representative Capital Bonding Bill, but the House failed to pass the bill by five votes. Minnesota Amateur Sports Commission (MASC) Executive Director Paul Erickson says the “prognosis is good to be included in the 2014 Bonding bill” in a recent letter sent to Mayor Bob Byrnes. Executive Director Erickson also indicated he will recommend to the MASC Board next month that the Marshall project be reaffirmed as the agency’s No. 1 priority for 2014 and includes an increase of $298,000 from the prior request to take into consideration inflation increases in construction costs.
“We have a great opportunity to secure money from the State to make our new facility truly a regional draw,” said Roger Madison, chairperson of the SMASC. “The regional amateur sports facility, along with the MERIT training facility will diversify Marshall’s growing economic opportunities.”
The SMASC has recommended that phase one of the regional sports facility begins this fall with the construction of the four softball/youth baseball fields with completion in early 2014. This will allow the construction and proper seeding of the grass for the fields to be ready for competition in the spring of 2015. If the City of Marshall secures funding from the Bonding Bill in 2014, the indoor sports facility would begin construction in 2014 with the completion of the regional sports facility project in 2015.
“In a thoroughly discussed decision, the SMASC recommended holding off on the construction until we know the outcome of the State bonding next spring,” Madison said. “While our project start date has been delayed, we truly believe the enhanced version will benefit the community for the long term.”
The SMASC and the City of Marshall Mayor Bob Byrnes appreciated the legislative leadership provided by Representative Chris Swedzinski (R-Ghent) and Senator Gary Dahms (R-Redwood Falls). Both Legislators have supported the past bonding requests and agree that the regional sports facility is well-positioned for next year’s bonding priorities of the Minnesota Legislature.
The overall proposed sports facility – which would be located on a site adjacent to Marshall High School – includes an indoor arena with two sheets of ice. The facility will also have the capacity to host wrestling, basketball, volleyball and soccer events and also accommodate for tradeshows, expos, art fairs and other large events. The outdoor complex includes four fields for softball/youth baseball.
The SMASC features 20 individuals representing Marshall and surrounding communities. The SMASC has also established four sub-committees – finance, governance, scheduling/marketing and facilities – to help in the design, development and construction phase of the project.
The SMASC Facilities Committee is continuing their work on the pre-design phase for the project under the guidance of the Construction Managers Wenck & Associates – formerly Bossardt Corporation – and the design firm of ATS&R Planners, Architects, Engineers.
The regional sports facility will be constructed and operated through assistance of a combination of local sales taxes in Marshall including a .5 percent general sales tax and a 1.5 percent lodging and food/beverage sales tax that were both passed by a vote of Marshall residents on Nov. 6, 2012 and confirmed by the Marshall City Council. The .5 percent sales tax went into effect on April 1, 2013, the lodging tax went into effect on June 1, 2013, while the 1.5 percent food and beverage tax goes into effect July 1, 2013.
For more information, please contact: Roger Madison, SMASC Chairman 507-829-1913