Officials with the Saint Peter City Council and School Board attempted to hammer out final details on Monday as both entities plan to launch Community Spirit Park into the next phase of development.

The plan for the 100-acre park near the new High School will be to provide recreational opportunities for students and residents, with nearly 160-thousand dollars in improvements later this year. 

Saint Peter Schools Superintendent Paul Peterson called the meeting a really important step.

“Especially when you look at the Community Spirit Park plans, a part of it is certainly maintenance, but a part of it also is standards. Then you gotta be talking about scheduling, you gotta be talking about how are we going to build this thing over time. So, it would be really easy to just focus on one component of that and kind of lose sight that this is really going to be a complex partnership that we need to take care of over time. I think tonight we got a good start.”

Enhancements include bike racks, drinking fountains, portable restrooms along with signage, bleachers, scoreboards and storage sheds at the ball fields. A total of eight fields will be available for soccer, football, baseball and softball.

Peterson adds the area will become another part of what makes Saint Peter a special place to be.

“There’s 11, 12-thousand people here and so whether it’s kids within our schools or whether it’s people who are just living within our community, this is a shared area. Whether it’s with recreation, athletics or people going out for a walk.”

Based on an anticipated level of service to provide upkeep of the green space and ball fields, officials estimate that maintenance of the park will total 67-thousand dollars a year.

Another phase of the project lies on the horizon, City Administrator Todd Prafke says they will take some time to study the utilization of the park to determine where a permanent restroom and playground are built.

“It’s great to have this plan the school district had great charrette’s and talked about what kind of utilization. But until it’s really there and people start walking on it, running on it, biking on it and doing all of those things, you really don’t know. So, this will be a great experiment this summer and be able to get a lot of feedback from folks. Really make sure that we’re plotting the right course.”

The City and School District plan to share the cost of the 160-thousand dollars in improvements, with the City picking up nearly 75-thousand dollars and the District picking up the remaining 85-thousand dollars. School Officials indicate that they will use contingency funds from leftover bond money that was approved to build the new high school facility.