A new kind of Power; Architect, construction company selected for rec center project

Published 8:58 am Friday, June 2, 2017

The Vision 2020 Community Recreation Center project now has design and construction teams ready to move the project forward.

Vision 2020 Director Greg Siems announced the hiring of McGough Construction and BWBR Architects for the project on Thursday during a press announcement in the parking lot of the Historic Austin Utilities Power Plant at 400 Fourth St. NE.

“This place used to provide power to the community,” Siems said. “Now, a new human energy will arise to power the future.”

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Matt Cano, co-chair of the Vision 2020 Community Recreation Center Committee, touted the work of McGough and BWBR.

McGough Construction has done previous work on the Spam Museum, remodeling for St. Olaf and Our Saviors Lutheran churches, the addition to Hormel Foods Corp. global headquarters and the expansion to The Hormel Institute, to name to few.

BWBR designed the expansion and remodel of Mayo Clinic Health Systems’ Austin campus and the Wescott Field turf and seasonal dome project.

“We are very excited to have McGough and BWBR on board,” Cano said. “These companies are leaders in their fields with extensive experience designing and building significant projects in our community.”

It was revealed Thursday afternoon that Vision 2020 is hoping to have completion of the new Recreation Center by fall of 2019.

The Hormel Foundation pledged $25 million to support the construction of the recreational center, the largest contribution the Foundation has made to a project in Austin or the surrounding community. Hormel Foods also pledged $5 million.

Siems also announced a projected timeline for the project, with groundbreaking scheduled for May 2018. The tentative completion date is November 2019.

“A community center like this will hit on a lot of the community’s needs,” Siems said. “The ideas and vision that the community laid out for us five years ago are all represented in this one project, in some shape or form.”

The project is coming through the cooperation of Vision 2020, the YMCA of Austin and the city of Austin.

According to a press release, the Austin Community Recreational Center will include a “gymnasium, aquatic facilities, an indoor playground, a youth activity center, a gymnastics center, and state-of-the-art fitness equipment.” Some areas of the facility will be free to the community, while others will be accessible to YMCA members only.

“This really is the culmination of five years of hard work,” said Tanya Medgaarden, co-chair of the Vision 2020 Community Recreation Center. “The volunteers and organizations on our committee have done extensive research and outreach throughout the community to develop a plan, and now we can start putting it into action.”

Siems said the community can continue to get involved in the project.

“We’re always looking to do what we can to make the facility the best it can be and make sure it’s meeting the wants and needs of the community,” he said.

Community members can learn more about the project, track its progress, and submit comments and questions online at www.vision2020austin.com. They can also call 507-437-3448 or email info@vision2020austin.com.