Location has been one of the primary issues debated by residents regarding the proposed Frankenmuth Recreation Center. This morning, an agreement was reached that could position the facility on the Norm Meyer Farm – 38 acres northeast of the corner of Weiss and Jefferson, and south of Heritage Park. The Meyer Farm location would relocate the proposed project from the site east of M-83 (Main Street), behind the Kroger store. The cost of the new property is in alignment with current project plans. Details on the proposed alternate location are in final discussion.
“The Meyer family stepped forward with an interest in making this happen,” said Chris Rittmueller, Frankenmuth Youth Sports Association president. “They saw the neighborhood’s reaction to the originally proposed location and contacted our board with a reasonable offer for the land.”
The newly identified property, zoned for commercial use, is in Frankenmuth Township and within the urban limit line. According to Rittmueller, the new location has accessible infrastructure required to accommodate the original plans for the proposed Recreation Center.
Facilities include a 60,000-square-foot, two-story indoor facility with four multi-use courts, elevated two-lane walking/running track, 8,000+ square feet of community meeting/education areas and more. The outdoor athletic field complex includes 13 fields for soccer, baseball, softball, football and lacrosse geared to players of all ages and abilities, as well as a boundless playground/splash pad, walking trail, concessions and restrooms.
“I really believe there is something for everyone in the Rec Center,” said Rittmueller. “With an indoor facility this large, there really is no limit to what can be done inside. In addition to basketball and volleyball, we can have indoor tennis, futsal, pickle ball, bocce ball, and open gym time for adults and kids who participate in non-organized sports. The year-round indoor walking path will be usable during open hours of the center. I'm sure there is a lot of programming that could be incorporated that is yet to be considered based on the community’s input.”
“The Rec Center can be – will be – a foundation piece for our community,” said Rittmueller. “And the location needs to be both adequate for the operation and complementary to the neighborhood.”
The Frankenmuth Recreation Center Board and Steering Committee believe this project will have a significant positive impact across the community.
“The project could be a community asset, along with our good schools and safe neighborhoods, supporting Frankenmuth as an attractive location to prospective homebuyers. The project sustains and potentially increases property values of those people already living here. Not only does the project pay for itself as time goes by as property values increase, but it enhances the quality of life for those using it and helps to bring in more dollars to local businesses,” said Scott Zimmer, FYSA board member.
“When Frankenmuth hotels, retailers and restaurants add to their businesses, the new revenue allows them even more ability to give back to the community in the form of employment, taxation, general donations and sponsorships for groups including our local schools, local organizations, local churches and locally sponsored sports teams,” said Zimmer.
On August 7, Frankenmuth City residents will vote on a bond issue that would provide about half of the funding for building construction. Remaining sources of funding include a DNR land acquisition grant, grants from foundations inside and outside Frankenmuth, and private contributions. The FYSA has estimated that if your home is valued at $100,000, the cost of the bond will be approximately $3.75 per month. Homes valued at $200,000 would pay $7.50 per month.
The Rec Center Board said changing the location is a risk to the project, given the timing of the opportunity, the research and the effort that has gone into planning and networking the complex on the north end of the city. In unanimous agreement, the Board felt that the opportunity to create a centralized recreation location, maximize existing facilities and utilities, and address neighborhood concerns is one they couldn’t pass up. They are hopeful the Frankenmuth population agrees with a positive vote on August 7.
There are very few places available locally where children can practice basketball, soccer, baseball, softball, football, volleyball, and lacrosse while participating in league play and regional tournaments or simply recreate with their friends. The Frankenmuth Recreation Center will provide a convenient, local solution to this growing problem. The Center will also provide a much-needed indoor facility where adults, seniors and families can recreate and walk/exercise. We believe this recreation center will provide area families and residents a chance not only to be physically active but to be involved, here locally with centralized activities without the need to travel for indoor recreation.