Central Park Renovation Project
For more than 20 years, Central Park has been a place to play, connect, learn and have fun. However, after two decades, the facility needs significant updates so that it can continue to attract visitors for years to come.
- Address maintenance issues and failing and/or inefficient mechanical and electrical systems
- Enhance welcoming environment to increase space for visitors
- Increase program opportunities for youth, teens and adults/seniors
- Update Lookout Ridge Indoor Playground
- Increase energy efficiency
- Add single/family user restrooms
- Increase parking lot capacity
- Improve accessibility/ADA features
Located in Minnesota’s eighth-largest city, Central Park continues to draw multi-cultural, multi-generational visitors for its unique combination of resources and services provided by the City of Woodbury and our partners: Washington County, South Washington County Schools, the Woodbury YMCA and Stonecrest Senior Living.
In 2019, Lookout Ridge Indoor Playground attracted 23,258 daily admissions.
The R.H. Stafford Library, operated by Washington County, is the fifth most visited library in the metro area and sixth most visited in the state. It also ranks sixth in total circulation of material in the state. The library garnered approximately 1,050 guests daily, on average, in 2019. Renovations in the library spaces are not included in this project, but are included in the Washington County Capital Improvement Plan as part of the proposed 2027 bond sale.
Why renovate now?
- It has been more than 20 years since construction and the facility needs to address deferred maintenance items.
- As home to the fifth-most visited library in the metro area (sixth-most in the state) and four school districts, capacity does not meet demand. Spaces are heavily used and in need of updating.
- Renovations will allow the gathering space to live up to its true potential of serving the diverse, growing population now and into the future.
- Lookout Ridge Indoor Playground is in dire need of updates. Common concerns indicate users feel the playground is a desired amenity, but has “old, worn and damaged equipment; lacks natural lighting; has poor sightlines, adding to safety concerns; and is too small/crowded.”
The current cost estimate for the project is $35-37 million, including a $26-28 million contribution from the city. The project will include:
- All deferred maintenance
- Americans with Disabilities Acts (ADA) updates
- Enclose the amphitheater and add 3,000 square-foot space
- Replace Lookout Ridge Indoor Playground
- Update entries and enhance patio
- Implementation of B3 Guidelines to meet sustainability goals for site
- An addition of a single story, 12,000 square-foot multi-purpose space that accommodates up to 350 people, with the ability to divide into smaller programming spaces
- 6,000 square-foot program/lease space constructed above the multi-purpose space
- Infrastructure to accommodate additional space
Note that cost estimates are subject to change based on final project scope and partner contributions.
Capital funding sources being considered include:
- City Fund Balance
- City Bonding Funded by Expiring Debt and Tax Abatement Levies
- Various Grants
- $15 Million in State Bonding
- Tax Increment Financing (TIF) No. 3
- Sales Tax Waiver
- Facility Partner Contributions ($4.7 million confirmed from Washington County; other partner contributions will be established as project scope is further identified)
None of the options being considered require a tax increase to support the capital investment of the project.
Central Park Project planners have engaged the public over the last seven years in multiple ways. After City Council directed staff to complete an analysis of the facility in November 2014, the public process began with user surveys in 2015 and 2016. An additional market survey was completed in the fall 2020 focusing on Lookout Ridge Indoor Playground. In April 2022, schematic design public engagement included stakeholder meetings, pop-up events at the park, an online survey and Social Pinpoint interactive map, and a booth at the Woodbury Community EXPO.
Robust public engagement will take place as part of the schematic design phase in early 2023.
Tentative Project Timeline*
|October-December 2022||Council approves agreements with facility partners|
|October 2022-September 2023||Design development and documentation phase; additional community engagement.|
|April-September 2023||City Council review design development plan; authorize public bidding; review Capital Funding Plan; and approve project bid award.|
|January-March 2024||Construction begins|
|September-December 2025||Grand re-opening|
*Note that these dates are subject to change. Timelines will be updated as more information is available.