The new Firemen’s Park and Chaska Curling and Event Center stemmed from Chaska’s desire to reenergize their downtown and existing park. The City searched for a project that could stimulate economic development, provide a new recreational opportunity for the area, celebrate its traditions and history, and create an engaging community gathering space. Numerous amenities and potential activities, such as curling, were identified at a visioning session.
The resulting project, completed in two phases, included a redesign of Firemen’s Park to incorporate a lakeside pavilion, a picnic shelter, a concession building, trails, a boardwalk, a pedestrian bridge across the park’s existing lake, play areas, seating areas, an interactive fountain, memorials to Chaska’s volunteer firemen, and a curling and event center. The curling and event center, the first phase of the project and a primary feature within the park, was completed in December 2015; the remainder of the park was completed in the summer of 2016. Since that time, usage of the park and center has far exceeded the city’s expectations. Participation levels and city revenues are higher than anticipated and downtown redevelopment interests are growing. People are drawn to the new amenities.