Fundraising on pace for Austin Community Rec Center; Looking to public to help raise final $1.9 million

Published 7:55 am Wednesday, April 4, 2018

The Austin Community Rec Center board announced on Tuesday that it is making a final push in its public funding drive to raise funds for the planned community recreation center.

Representatives from Vision 2020, city of Austin, the Hormel Foundation, Hormel Foods and the Austin YMCA gathered in the City Council Chambers at City Hall for the announcement.

“Thanks to the generous support of our donors we are able to start the public fundraising efforts with the clear reality of achieving, and hopefully surpassing, our needed funds,” said Austin Community Rec Center Executive Board Co-Chair Tanya Medgaarden. “This is the best possible scenario for us to begin public fundraising.”

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The community recreational center project, which has been a Vision 2020 goal since April 2012, has a projected budget of $35 million. The Hormel Foundation donated $25 million of that budget, while Hormel Foods donated an additional $5 million. The Austin Community Rec Center board hopes to raise the last $5 million from public donations.

To date, it has raised $3,096,579, according to Medgaarden. The board still has to raise $1,903,421.

The new 105,000-square foot community recreation center will be built on the site of the old Austin Utilities building. Demolition of the old AU building began in January.

Depending on fundraising and demolition, groundbreaking on the new center is scheduled for July 2018. A ribbon-cutting ceremony is slated for late 2019, about 18 months after breaking ground.

The new facility will feature state-of-the-art facilities, such as a family aquatic center and practice facilities, as well as healthy living programs. There will also be areas with free access to the public, including a 5,000 square foot youth space.

The center is projected to create 175 new jobs, serve 650 low-income families and serve 7,300 people annually, including 3,500 kids participating in rec center-sponsored activities. The board estimates it will have an economic impact of $3.2 million per year in Austin and the surrounding area.

“We are so close to brining this state-of-the-art facility to the people of Austin and the surrounding communities,” said Austin Mayor Tom Stiehm. “The Austin Community Rec Center will be a great driver of people to the area and will allow us to continue to grow the economic prosperity of our community.”

Those who are interested in donating to the community recreational center fundraising effort can visit