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News & Views of Phillips Since 1976
Monday May 27th 2024

Curious about a United Phillips plus Waite House Proposal for Phillips Pool and Gym Community Center?

The Phillips Pool and Gym Community Center on East 24th St. between 10th and 13th Avenues closed for repairs and awaiting operating proposals.

by Robert Albee, Ventura Village Secretary
The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board has set July 9th as the date by which interested parties must submit their applications for future leasing of the Phillips Community Center. The Park Board has clearly stated that they are interested in proposals compatible with, and complimentary to MPRB programs and services and have a good reputation and an interest in the community being served.

Accordingly, successful applicant/s must have the resources “to renovate the interior and exterior of the building and provide rental income to offset the building utilities, operating costs and provide for long term building maintenance and operation of the project.”

A walk-through of the building is scheduled for Monday, June 7th from 5:00 ”“ 7:00 PM. The full request for proposal is available online at the Park Board”'s website.

A successful operation of the building will require a major tenant or tenant group coupled with an effective plan to accommodate all of the individuals, groups and organizations that seek to “use” the facilities on a per-schedule basis. Currently a response from the four Phillips Community neighborhoods and the Waite House is being prepared that addresses the challenges posed by the Park Board”'s request.

Included in that proposal is a complete move by the Waite House from its 13th Avenue and 25th facility to the Phillips Community Center 11th Avenue and 24th Street location. Efforts are underway to include a consortium of clinics and other non-profits in developing a jointly-operated wellness center that can effectively serve people of all incomes. Included with this plan is the idea of utilizing the commercial kitchen and dining room to serve both tenant groups efforts to provide community-wide services that promote healthy eating. A community café & coffee shop is also being considered along with a request that the land across the street on the east side be developed into a large community garden to provide healthy food onsite.

Efforts are also underway to develop a plan to save half the swimming pool for community use by installing one or more sophisticated therapy pools that could be leased to health care providers to subsidize and sustain the operational costs of the community pool. In addition, much of the interior space of the swimming complex can be recaptured through decking over the therapy pools to provide space for additional fitness and wellness activities.

The idea is to develop a comprehensive set of activities beneficial to Phillips residents and stakeholders of all ages while maintaining the current opportunities for usage of the double gymnasium and “club room” for youth programs and activities. For example, during school hours, charter schools lacking physical education facilities could use the gym and showers for supervised activities while adult programs operate elsewhere in the building. A plan is being developed to help coordinate all “user” requests for access times to ensure fairness and the best opportunities for overall building usage. Separate issues regarding general building operations, maintenance, and management will be addressed by the “tenant group” with input from the “users” group.
Prior to submission of this application to the Park Board, the proposal will be submitted to each of the four Phillips neighborhoods for approval. Other organizations operating in the Phillips Community will contacted for additional support and “proposal blessings.”

If you wish to make suggestions or add your ideas to the PCC proposal prior to its completion and submission for neighborhood ratification, contact Robert Albee at 612.8122429.

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