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Changes are happening with some of Edina's recreational facilities. What are you thoughts?


As a result of resident requests, in July 2011 the Edina City Council charged the Park Board with the responsibility of researching the feasibility of a sports dome. The Park Board created a Sports Dome Working Group to study the issue.A consultant-led feasibility study found there is community need and desire for such a facility. According to the study, "domes are no longer a single focus youth soccer facility. Over the years, new program opportunities such as adult softball, soccer and lacrosse leagues, out-of-season youth softball tournaments, baseball instructional camps, rugby" and other programs were interested in an Edina sports dome. In addition, the study states a dome could be used for other children's and adult recreational activities.A domed facility would be approximately 230 feet by 400 feet, large enough to cover a full-sized soccer field. The field could also contain overlays for other sports, such as a lacrosse field and baseball field. A track around the perimeter is also recommended. A project cost cannot be fully estimated until a site is chosen, but is guessed to be more than $5 million.The second phase of the study is under way, as consultants and the Working Group work to determine and assess locations for such a facility.

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In 2011, a study was conducted of Edinborough Park to determine ways to make the facility more profitable. The consultant recommended to the Park Board in early 2012 that the track/fitness area and pool be closed and reconstructed into a soft children's play area, interactive digital games area and a high ropes course. Removal of most trees, while maintaining the rest of the plants, and switching to high-efficiency lighting not necessary for plant growth was also presented as an additional way to grow profits.User groups of the pool and fitness area did not support the recommendation.In a report presented to the Park Board in June, staff recommended keeping the pool and fitness facility, and renovating the locker rooms. The report also recommends reducing the number of plants and trees. In addition, all Park user fees will be increased.As part of this recommendation, the Edina Swim Club will make a longtime financial commitment, making Edinborough Park the "home" of the Edina Swim Club for its 43-week season.Staff believes negotiations regarding association fees are possible with Marriott and Corporate East. The Edinborough Condo Association would also have the option to continue paying association fees or the residents could purchase individual passes for the pool and track.

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The Edina Art Center is owned and operated by the City of Edina under the City Council's direction. Volunteer members of the Art Center Board and City Staff advise the City Council on decisions regarding the Art Center.The City's vision for the Art Center is to provide the best visual arts experience in the state while generating sufficient revenue to cover much of its annual operating costs.Through a consultant, the City hopes to learn strengths and weaknesses in the Art Center's marketing and advertising efforts; best practices for generating community participation and what programs or services should be offered, expanded, added or discontinued.The City also hopes to learn of alternative organization structure, such as creating a 501(C)(3) organization, and what the advantages and disadvantages are of those structures. The consultant will also explore the Center's profitability and possible subsequent fee increases or decreases.

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