Process begins for upgrades to Albert Lea recreational facilities

The future of Albert Lea’s Rec. Facilities following a successful referendum

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(ABC 6 News) – On Tuesday, April 9, Albert Lea voters approved a referendum that will allow the city to borrow up to $9.8 million to make improvements to the city arena, splash pad, Marion Ross Theater, and aquatic center.

Now, plans for the upgrades coming to four Albert Lea recreational facilities enter their beginning phases.

The majority of the funding will go to several projects in the City arena, including the expansion of the front lobby which residents will get a say on, according to Cathy Malakowsky, city engagement and enrichment director.

“I think that’s going to be a lot of fun, to work with the hockey association, the figure skating club, and the kennel club to talk about ‘what should that look like?'” Malakowsky said. “What should the furnishings, the color, the décor, all that be? How can we best use that space?”

Other projects given a green light from the referendum include constructing public restrooms near the splash pad downtown, replacing doors at the Marion M. Ross theater and providing long-term maintenance to the facilities.

“The things that we are planning on fixing have been needed for awhile. I think it will improve everybody’s experience with both facilities and as far as maintenance and upkeep go I think what we are going to do to it will just prolong the lifespan of all of it,” Arena and Aquatics inner technician Emma Barclay said.

A lifespan, city officials hope, will stretch for generations to come.