Maple Grove Community Center Begins Plans for Expansion Paid for By Sales Tax
Maple Grove voters approved a half-cent sales tax in November 2022, an increase that went into effect earlier this year. The city predicts the revenue to help cover as much as $90 million of the $116 million needed for multiple expansions at the Maple Grove Community Center.
“We went through a lengthy community engagement process to let the residents know what we’re planning, what the need was, what people had been asking for in the community center expansion,” said Maple Grove Parks and Recreation Director Chuck Stifter. “Those things cost money but people that, in a community where you can deliver those things, there is some expense on a resident to have those services.”
Last week, Maple Grove City Council approved the initial design schematics for what Stifter calls phase one of the expansions, which primarily includes a third ice sheet at the community center.
“The need for the third sheet of ice is really driven by the youth hockey association and our learn to skate program,” said Stifter. “Both of those programs are number one in the state, so they’ve got the most demand on them to provide those services, and there’s just a high demand in Maple Grove to provide those services.”
Stifter said the youth association would pay toward the expansion, as well.
“Currently they’re getting outside of the city to get ice hours to run their programs, and they’d like to keep that in the city,” he said.
Once the city can complete the design phase, possibly by the end of the year, Stifter believes the permitting and other preliminary work can allow construction on the new ice arena expansion to begin immediately after Maple Grove Days next July.
“The larger project was expanded aquatics, expanded senior center, walking tracks, more gym space,” he said. “Things like that really were from the grassroots, things people really wanted when we went through the community engagement.”