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Smoky Hill Museum
Christmas Music Channel

Fieldhouse Project to Cost More Than Anticpated

KSAL Staff - January 31, 2016 9:33 pm

It appears that a project that is expected to spur a revitalization of Downtown Salina will cost more than was anticipated.

In 2015 Salina City Commissioners entered into a public / private partnership for the development of the Fieldhouse Salina project.  At the time, it was projected to be a $9 million project. The city agreed to contribute up to $4.5 million, with supporters raising private funds for the rest.

Salina City Commissioners on Monday will be asked to more than double the city funding, increasing it to $9.5 million.

An exact cost of the project will not be known until April, but it is anticipated to cost more because there has been a “very significant increase in the cost of both building and infrastructure projects in the last one to two years.”

Once built, the fieldhouse is expected to help generate other projects, and investors. Potential projects include, but are not limited to:

  • A high-end, 120-room, five-story hotel on Mulberry between Santa Fe and Fifth streets built by Salina-based Blue Beacon International.
  • Two museums, including the “Wings Over Salina Aviation Experience” and an automobile museum.
  • A bowling alley and indoor fun center

Plans also include narrowing Santa Fe from a four-lane street to a three-lane street. Traffic would flow in one lane in each direction, with a center turning lane. The redesign would open up more sidewalk space, thus opening up outdoor seating for downtown businesses.

All of the projects would be funded through private and public sources.  Along with the private funding, a key component would be STAR Bonds, and also TIF financing.

Tax increment financing, or TIF, subsidizes companies by refunding or diverting a portion of their taxes to help finance development in an area or on a project site. STAR Bonds would have to be approved by the Kansas Legislature.

Local officials are working with the Kansas Department of Commerce to see if STAR Bonds are feasible to fund the project. To receive the bonds, a project must meet very specific criteria including things like generating tourism to the area that include 30 percent of new traffic from outside a 100 mile radius, and 20 percent from outside the state.

Several other major unrelated downtown projects are already underway, including refurbishing the Lee Building into apartments, and a renovation of the Townsite Building into apartments and retail space, complimenting the studios of KSAL Radio that are already on the top floor.

While construction has not yet started, the fieldhouse project has been progressing. A designer, general contractor, and owner’s representative are all under contract.

The goal is to break ground on the project at the corner of Fifth and Ash this spring, and then be open for business in the spring of 2017.

Copyright © Alpha Media, 2016.  All Rights Reserved. No part of this story or website may be reproduced without Alpha Media’s express consent.

Warren Fair

January 31, 2016 at 11:23 pm

This looks like a rip off to me. I think we were given a lowball figure and then when it got closer to the construction time it’s OH the costs have risen. I want to know if costs have doubled on construction supplies in one year. Time for a vote of the citizens on this one now.

Doug Clemens

February 1, 2016 at 1:05 am

Our crooked city commissioners are at it again. Where are all the people who went after the county commissioners like sharks after blood. This is taxpayer money being spent on one guys dream. Evidently he could not raise the funds and now wants us taxpayers to pay more. DOES THIS REMIND YOU OF THE BI-CENTER? Our same commissioners put it to us on that project also. I agree I believe this and the sales tax request for sale tax should be put to vote but not by mail ballots. Next election add these two questions to the ballot. I DO NOT TRUST ONE COMMISSIONER TO COUNT ANY VOTES. LETS GO PEOPLE THIS GROUP IS WORST THEN ANY COUNTY COMMISSION. ALSO REMEMBER THEY ARE STILL TRYING TO PUSH THROUGH THE RIVER REVITALIZATION WHICH WE TAXPAYERS VOTED DOWN NOT TO LONG AGO. TIME TO GET RID OF EACH AND EVERY ONE OF THESE COMMISSIONERS.

Danny Engling

February 1, 2016 at 7:09 am

Maybe building a couple smaller gyms would serve Salina better.

Larry Elmquist

February 1, 2016 at 11:30 am

I suspect that Mr. Clemens is opposed to the project because it doesn’t include a shooting range.

Warren Fair

February 1, 2016 at 11:44 am

Mr. Elmquist I presume that you do not pay taxes in Salina so why is this any business of yours. I suspect that Mr. Clemens is opposed because of the increase in taxes which will follow.

Juanita Ramirez

February 1, 2016 at 12:22 pm

So wasting $9,500,000 on this project is going to get companies to relocate here and bring good jobs? I highly doubt it.

Comments are closed.

City of Salina