Community Center projects provides upgrades inside and out
The Springfield Area Community Center is winding up several projects and preparing for the approaching busiest season of the year — the celebrations of graduations, weddings, programs and banquets for end-of-school year activities and family gatherings of all kinds, as well as business meetings.
The biggest and most important project underway is a complete replacement of the heating, ventilation and air conditioning system with a larger, more efficient system. Plans and specifications for the project were developed with the expertise of Engineer Myron Jordan with Wentz Associates Inc., a mechanical and electrical engineering firm of Edina, and Architect Dan Tideman of GLTArchitects of St. Cloud, who was the principal project engineer for the Community Center when it was constructed in 1999. Ahrens Heating, Inc. of New Ulm, who bid $238,000 on the job, is contractor for the current HVAC project. The project is expected to be complete by the end of April.
The bar was recently remodeled. The local Jeremy Zihlke Construction did the construction work that enlarged the bar. Most people won’t notice a difference from the outside, but the bar was pushed out three feet and those working inside realize quite a difference with added space that provides for an extra cooler and work table and is more user-friendly for the bartenders. A Dutch door on the west side provides an additional service “window” for large events.
Five hundred new crown back stacking banquet chairs, upholstered in gray fabric, arrived on March 29 and were used for the first time at the Redwood County Cattlemen’s Steak Fry the evening of April 2, and an April 9 wedding.
The original banquet chairs, upholstered in burgundy, chairs have found new homes. “They sold quickly after the advertisement appeared in the Advance-Press,” said Center Director Jill Riederer. St. Paul Catholic Church of Comfrey purchased 200 chairs. Sixty-five chairs went to the Farmers Health and Golf Club at Sanborn. Sixty-five of the chairs were retained for use in meeting rooms of the Springfield Fire Department, Ambulance Service and Public Works. Fifty-five chairs were purchased in small numbers by various individuals. One hundred chairs were donated to La Plaza Fiesta Mexican Restaurant in Madelia, to help people of that community strive to rebound from the February 3 fire that destroyed eight businesses in Madelia’s central business district.
A new cast iron fountain will replace the deteriorating concrete fountain in the garden at the Community Center. The paver patio will be enlarged and the fountain, 8 feet tall with cast iron basin, will be installed at a striking focal point on the plaza. The fountain was manufactured by Robinson Iron of Alexander City, Alabama, and arrived in Springfield on March 28.
All of the improvements are being financed by the recent Henry and Elsie Roiger Bequest.
Updating of the sound system is also being done and includes a new CD player, new volume controls, amplifier and a new video projector. Those upgrades are being financed with payment from the Helen Fleischmann bequest.
“There were very few events that we couldn’t accommodate despite the construction projects,” commented Community Center Director Jill Riederer. “However, it will be good to have the project finished and get back to business as usual.