Willmar City Council approves funding for Civic Center, event center projects

Funding for several projects outlined by Willmar Parks and Recreation were approved by the Willmar City Council at its April 18 meeting.

Willmar Civic Center entrance with a small tractor plowing snow off the sidewalk.
Three parks and recreation projects for which funding was approved April 18 by the Willmar City Council are at the Willmar Civic Center or on its campus. A roofing project at the Civic Center was approved, a sound system for the new event center being built on the campus was approved and also funding for the fencing of turf fields at the location.
West Central Tribune file photo

WILLMAR — The Willmar City Council has approved funding for three projects for the Willmar Civic Center and the new Event and Recreation Center.

The council at its April 18 meeting approved a project to update the roof of the Civic Center in order to meet code requirements for snow load. While there was money allocated for a roof project this year, the council also OK'd reallocating funds to address the code issues.

When reviewing construction documents from 1981, LSE Architects and Marcus Construction found that the roof structure over the recreation offices, restrooms, officials' locker room and storage area next to Cardinal Arena was under-designed for the code required for snow load, according to Parks and Recreation Director Rob Baumgarn.

It was also found that construction documents from a 2006 infill project did not include reinforcement of the roof area to resolve the deficiency, and new construction of the Event and Recreation Center will increase the snow loading on the adjacent existing roof area.

Improving the roof and bringing it up to code at the same time as the construction of the new event center will save costs to the city, Baumgarn told the council.


Invest in Willmar projects
Articles related to the event and recreation center project
In a few short years the entire recreation landscape in Willmar has been turned on its head, thanks to the tireless effort of a group of residents, the city council and staff, as well as the residents themselves.

The council adopted a resolution reallocating approximately $254,000 from the Blue Line Arena insulation project to the Civic Center roof improvement project, which will cost approximately $361,000. There is already $150,000 allocated in the 2022 capital improvement project fund for the roof project.

The total budget for the Civic Center roof improvement project is approximately $404,000, with a 10 percent contingency of approximately $36,000 and special inspection cost of approximately $7,700.

Event center sound system

The council also approved the installation of a sound system for the event and recreation center, which is part of the Invest in Willmar projects funded by the local option sales tax.

The sound system is not part of the original scope of work, but is taking approximately five to seven months for sound and audio equipment delivery, according to Baumgarn.

He recommended ordering the equipment now in order to ensure proper delivery time, so the installation will be able to happen near the event and recreation center's completion date.

The council adopted a resolution approving an agreement with Mid State Audio for the sound system, which is the same sound system provider as the Cardinal and Blue Line arenas. The system will work off the same iPad to control the sound settings, according to Baumgarn.

The project will cost approximately $38,000 and the funds will be taken from the event and recreation project contingency dollars. The current contingency budget for the event and recreation center project is approximately $372,000, and the project is 47.6% complete, according to Baumgarn.

Fencing for turf fields

A third project approved by the council last week was the installation of fencing around the turf fields at the Civic Center campus.


The council adopted a resolution approving the project, which includes 3,200 feet of fencing with 12 gates installed and a bottom railing.

The cost of the project is approximately $109,000, and the total budget for the project is approximately $120,000 with the 10% contingency of approximately $11,000.

This project is also part of the Invest in Willmar projects funded by the local option sales tax.

Jennifer Kotila is a reporter for West Central Tribune of Willmar, Minnesota. She focuses on local government, specifically the City of Willmar, and business.

She can be reached via email at: or phone at 320-214-4339.
What To Read Next
Diana Anderson has overseen a growing Southwest Initiative Foundation since she joined the organization in 2001. After nine years as its director, she is saying goodbye.
The daily average of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Minnesota jumped from a 378-case daily average to 760 cases a day in one week. Deaths have also increased to a daily average of 11 deaths a day.
Marriage licenses issued in Kandiyohi County
The Governor wants to tap the record state surplus and raise fishing license and other fees for a budget boost to modernize and address deferred infrastructure projects.