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Preliminary building conceptual design. (Graphics courtesy Carver County Parks)

Design of the new waterfront park services building planned for Lake Waconia Regional Park is well underway, targeting beginning of construction this fall.

Carver County Parks officials provided an update to county commissioners last week and will be reaching out to other stakeholders as well as design proceeds.

Several groups and individuals offered input earlier this year on building plans and proposed park services through meetings, a virtual open house, attended by nearly 80 participants, and a park survey, which drew more than 460 responses. Many recommendations from the public engagement process have been incorporated in the preliminary design, according to Marty Walsh, Carver County parks director.

As a conceptual preview, the building is expected to have a strong connection to the waterfront, with lakeside views and a variety of sheltered outdoor seating. It also is intended to provide a welcoming connection to the lake from the parking facility.

The roof line is designed to be sharply pitched to maximize views and natural lighting, as well as shed snow load. The building is intended for four-season use.

The waterfront services center also will have a strong connection to the beach, restrooms and changing areas. Also, to open green space which could be used for larger events, according to Sam Pertz, county parks and recreation supervisor.

From a programming perspective, the facility will be equipped with an activity/multipurpose room, and offer food and drink concessions, and equipment rental. The building also could incorporate historic interpretation opportunities into the regional park.

On a broader scale, the new building might help facilitate and attract larger community events to the 135-acre park on the south shore of Lake Waconia, according to county parks officials.

The county received $2.5 million from the most recent state bonding bill last fall that it will match for a total of $5 million which will be used for a waterfront pavilion to support activities at the evolving regional park. The park reopened to visitors last fall following a year-long package of road, parking, trail, boat access, utility and stormwater management improvements.

Final building design and cost estimates are expected to be in place by summer, and the building project is scheduled to be bid in July. The design also could include environmental sustainability features like rooftop solar photovoltaic.

A nine-month construction project is anticipated starting in September or October after the summer peak park season. A soft park opening is expected in June 2022.

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