WATERLOO, IOWA – The first workout at the Cedar Valley SportsPlex site will take place next week – lifting and digging with shovels.
The public is invited to a groundbreaking ceremony for the community’s newest sports and fitness facility on April 19, 10:30 a.m., at the corner of West 2nd Street and Jefferson Street in downtown Waterloo.
The project is an important part of the downtown’s revitalization-providing a key amenity not only to the community, but also to downtown businesses desiring to attract and retain top talent. “The SportPlex project will be a tremendous catalyst for downtown revitalization, jump-starting a whole new wave of interest and investment in the downtown,” remarks Dan Watters of the Waterloo Development Corporation and representative of US Bank. “It’s also a big opportunity to improve the health of our community,” he continued, “for both our bodies and for economic development.”
“When we’re finished, the Cedar Valley SportsPlex will be the premier fitness and recreation destination in the area,” said Leisure Services Director Paul Huting. “This is where active lifestyles will take shape.”
Those in attendance at the groundbreaking will hear the SportsPlex’s anticipated completion date and learn more about what will go inside the 130,000 sq. ft. facility, including fitness classes and the opportunity for soccer and basketball league play.
“The focus is on providing an affordable, high-quality fitness facility that’s accessible to everyone,” said Rick Young of the Waterloo Development Corporation’s SportsPlex Committee. “There’s a big need for that in our community.”
The Cedar Valley SportsPlex will include a large field house equipped with state- of-the-art synthetic turf, a gymnasium with basketball courts, and a walking and running track that overlooks the courts below. Additional highlights include space for weightlifting, personal fitness studios, childcare, indoor children’s playground, locker rooms and meeting rooms. The new facility is also right on the bike path, further encouraging active lifestyles.
The field house is a particular point of pride for the SportPlex. It has the potential to be used for year-round indoor soccer, includes spectator seating, and is expected to help draw regional soccer tournaments to the area.
According to research conducted by Ballard*King and Associates, a national consulting firm, the facility will draw an estimated 800-900 visitors per day and 300,000 visitors per year.
The Cedar Valley SportsPlex is a cornerstone of the campus-like city center envisioned by the City in the Riverfront Renaissance master plan.
Waterloo Mayor Buck Clark added, “After years of planning, our downtown is beginning to materialize its Renaissance. The Cedar Valley SportsPlex becoming a reality will be an integral part of making downtown Waterloo a true destination.”
Nearly $20 million has been raised for the privately funded facility. Fundraising continues for the leisure pool, which is anticipated to be used by families throughout the Cedar Valley.
Major contributors and supporters for the project include the Waterloo Development Corporation, R.J. McElroy Trust, Black Hawk County Gaming Association, Max and Helen Guernsey, John Deere Foundation, Carlton and Thelma Winter Estate, Community Foundation of Northeast Iowa, Leighty Foundation, Young Family Foundation, and anonymous donors.
The Waterloo Development Corporation will be the owner of record for the project through construction and until all pledges are received. Once constructed, the facility will be owned and operated by the City of Waterloo. The City’s Leisure Services Department will oversee programming and operations from day one.