Pavilion Project - Detroit Lakes, MN (2024)

Project Presentations

6/11/2024:Project Renderings Presentation

5/14/2024:Project Renderings Presentation

4/18/2024:Project Renderings Presentation

3/16/2023:Open House Renderings

3/1/2023:Project Concept and Renderings

Printable FAQ

Why is a new Pavilion needed?

The existing 1915 Pavilion replaced an earlier, smaller shelter that was built in 1897, the year the park was created. The existing structure has been a focal point of activity over the decades as it has played host to many dances, concerts, weddings, reunions, and other large gatherings. While the current Pavilion has served the Community well for many years, age anddeterioration have taken its toll on the existing structure. While a significant renovation in 2006 replaced the dance floor and an addition provided new bathrooms, kitchen, and storage area, the foundation, walls, and roof system are still the original 1915 construction. The City conducted a structural assessment in 2012 that highlighted several of the architectural deficiencies:

  • The facility foundation has significant seasonal movement that impacts the floor and structure. Based upon the original building drawings, the exterior footings are approximately 2’10” below the top of the slab. The new dance floor installed in 2006 also provided a glimpse of the underlying soil conditions as the project necessitated the excavation of three to four feet of poor soils before the floor was reinstalled. Poor soil conditions combined with shallow footings result in significant seasonal movement that results in floor damage, beam misalignment, and roof leaks.
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  • The facility was designed only for seasonal use. The facility has traditionally only been rented from mid-May to mid-October. While the facility has some venting equipment and hanging heaters, it lacks any effective temperature control or insulation. The 2012 report concluded that retrofitting the existing facility for year-round use would require significant energy and structural upgrades and was likely not feasible.
  • The walls, windows, and other building components have experienced significant deterioration. The original exterior walls are cast-in-place concrete and have experienced degradation due to years of water infiltration. The windows are single pane windows and do not meet energy code requirements. The windowsills have also experienced significant rot from water leaks. In 2019, a wood beam above the south porch succumbed to years’ worth of water damage. The exterior stucco and wood trim are also in need of repairs.
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  • The facility lacks any fire alarm/sprinkler system or security system. If built today, the Building Code would require facilities of this size and function to have a fire alarm and sprinkler system. In addition, the current facility lacks any kind of security or camera system.

Is the Pavilion on the National Register of Historic Places?

Detroit Lakes City Park was added to the Register of Historic Places in 2008. Serving as a recreational destination for over 100 years, City Park is considered a property that is associated with events and activities that have made a significant contribution to our history. As part of the historic designation, various physical resources of the park were documented as either “contributing” or “noncontributing” to the historical significance of the park. The Pavilion was designated as a “noncontributing” structure. Conversely, the bathhouse was designated as “contributing”. Therefore, the Pavilion, itself, is not a historical structure but the overall City Park carries that designation. Plans to modify the park will require review by the Minnesota State Historical Preservation Office.

What size is the proposed new Pavilion?

The current size of the existing Pavilion is 12,500 square feet. The “main hall” of the current Pavilion contains roughly 8,000 square feet of event space. The proposed new Pavilion would be approximately 15,000 square feet with a main hall of about 8,400 square feet. The extra size of the new Pavilion would accommodate the ancillary services for the event space such as storage, restrooms, and kitchen space. The goal of the new Pavilion is to provide a year-round venue that can accommodate larger gatherings than what is currently available within Detroit Lakes. The space will be designed to seat up to 500 people and to have the flexibility to facilitate regional conferences. The redesign of the parking area provides improved access to a new lobby to the north of the building and improved access to the kitchen for caterers.

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Is this the final design for the Pavilion?

No. To this point, the renderings and schematic design are only preliminary but they provide a general concept as to size and look of how the facility would be constructed. The final design, layout, and the numerous details will be developed through a final design process that would take place if the referendum passes.

What are the planned City Park Improvements?

A significant portion of the referendum budget is for improvements to City Park. The proposed improvements include a new bathhouse, playground, water features, turf open space, landscaping, and parking redesign. The design of the bathhouse is also preliminary, but the concept includes public restrooms and outdoor shower facilities. The proposed concept also includes a presentation stage and open space to provide a venue for various outdoor activities. The concept also includes covered seating areas and new sidewalks. Similar to the Pavilion, the final design and layout of the park improvements would occur if the referendum is approved.

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What is the estimated cost of the Pavilion and City Park Improvements?

The budget developed for the Pavilion and City Park are based upon preliminary estimates with sizable contingencies built in as the projects would not be bid until 2025 at the earliest. The Pavilion estimate (including design, site preparation, utilities, and contingency) is $13,000,000. The Park improvements are estimated at another $4,300,000. The total budget of $17.3M is the maximum budget as provided by the special legislation authorizing the local sales tax. The City may reduce the sales tax budget but cannot increase it.

Why use a sales tax to fund the new Pavilion and City Park improvements?

The Pavilion and City Park is a regional destination. City Park and Beach are used by thousands of visitors each year, and the Pavilion plays host to various activities and gatherings that attract out-of-town guests. This regional draw supports the use of a local sales tax to fund its improvement. By utilizing a local sales tax, these visitors to the community help fund the improvements.

How long would the sales tax last?

The proposed sales tax is limited to the payment of costs related to the construction/renovation of the Pavilion and City Park improvements and shall terminate when the City Council determines that all such costs have been paid. The maximum that can be collected is $17,300,000 or no longer than 12 years after the tax is first imposed.

The City previously had a ½ percent sales tax to fund the construction of the new Police Department facility. When the ½ percent sales tax was in effect, the tax generated over $2,000,000 per year. The Police Department was paid with just four years of sales tax collections, as compared to the nine years that was authorized by the special legislation. The Police Department local sales tax ended on June 30, 2023.

Can the proposed sales tax be used for any other project?

The ballot question is specific to the Pavilion and City Park improvements and the sales tax can be used only for this project.

What items would be subject to the sales tax?

The tax applies to all items subject to the State’s general sales tax. Similarly, the local option sales tax would not apply to groceries, clothing, prescriptions, vehicle sales, or other non-taxable items.

How would the sales tax be collected?

The local option sales tax would be collected by the Minnesota Department of Revenue along with the State sales tax. The State would then remit the funds to the City. The City would pay a small fee to the State for this service but this would minimize the administrative cost associated with the tax.

What is the process for approving a local option sales tax?

State Statute 297A.99 sets forth the process for adopting a local option sales tax. There are two key steps in the process which include: 1) special legislation authorizing the tax by the Minnesota Legislature and 2) approval by the voters of the City. The Minnesota Legislature authorized the City’s sales tax proposal for the Pavilion and City Park Improvements in 2023.

To approve the local option sales tax for the Pavilion and City Park improvements, the election will be held at this year’s November 5th General Election.

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When would construction begin on the new Pavilion?

If approved at the November 2024 election, the earliest the sales tax could be implemented is the first quarter 2025. Final design of the improvement would take place during winter 2024/2025 and the project may be ready to be bid before the end of 2025.

What happens if the referendum does not pass?

The City’s 2023 legislation authorizing the sales tax will expire after 2024. Minnesota Statute requires the election to be conducted within two years after the governing body of the political subdivision has received the authority to impose the sales tax. Therefore, the City would need to obtain new legislative authorization if the City were to seek a new referendum beyond 2024.

Any new authorization is further complicated by a temporary moratorium the Legislature enacted in 2023 prohibiting any new local sales taxes until after May 31, 2025. This means that the earliest the City could seek new legislative approval for a sales tax request would be the 2026 legislative session. Any new request would be subject to Legislative approval and would need to meet any new requirements imposed by the Legislature.

If the local sales tax is not approved, the City will need to continue to maintain and repair the existing facility. The ongoing maintenance items and any more expensive capital repairs would need to be funded by the City budget.

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Pavilion Project - Detroit Lakes, MN (2024)


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