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Sunday November 19th 2017

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What is Minneapolis Swims Official Role in the Phillips Aquatic Center?

PhillipsAquatics_CommnuityMeeting1_Board3-SitePlan-web

New Design Documents have begun It is important to note that the renderings, elevations, and plans shown here are conceptual images developed in the last five years in previous meetings and negotiations. Final design documents will now be prepared by the new design team Studio Five Architects including their Consultant from USAquatics using previous images as history to date, added to information from the two Community Engagement Meetings—August 24th & September 14th–, and coupled with their own expertise.

BY DENNY BENNETT

Minneapolis Swims is a 501(c) (3) charitable organization managed by an all- volunteer board of directors, and has no paid staff. Minneapolis Swims mission is to bring equity, access and the opportunities that swimming can bring to all of the citizens of Minneapolis. It has decided that building the Phillips Aquatics Center is the most immediate path toward achieving these goals in Minneapolis.

In 2011 the Minneapolis Parks & Recreation Board (MPRB) entered into a fundraising agreement with Minneapolis Swims. This was superseded by a more detailed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in 2013 which defined in greater detail, Minneapolis Swims responsibilities in raising additional funds to build a larger facility, and the resulting relationship as the long term lease holder and operating entity of the project if those milestones were achieved.

MPRB Resolution 2014-250 once again redefined our relationship after the MOU had expired, and we were no longer interested in managing the facility, believing the MPRB’s aquatics team better equipped to handle that over the long haul. Our interest was in helping bring in the final dollars needed to build a 10 or 12 lane facility, and to stay involved long-term raising scholarship money to make it as accessible as possible. This resolution gave us an additional 6 months to raise capital.

Although the reporting deadline has long since passed, we have continued to collaborate with staff. Following the April 1st passage of MPRB Resolution 2015-165, where the MPRB chose the 10-lane option, our meetings with MPS staff and board members continued until their resolution of $1,750,000 in capital support was passed. We also brought in an additional $200,000 in private funds during this time.

Moving forward, as we will continue to raise capital for the project as the actual designs are drawn up, and final costs come in. Additionally, we plan to meet with MPRB staff to begin discussions about what our role will look like once the facility opens.

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