science

Metro briefs: First phase of Plymouth community center expansion complete – Minneapolis Star Tribune


The city of Plymouth has completed the first phase of its $50 million community center expansion.

The Active Wing featuring an indoor playground, walking track, fitness rooms and gymnasiums opened to the public Jan. 3. City, state and Hennepin County officials celebrated with a ribbon cutting Dec. 30.

The next phase of the project is expected to be finished by July, city officials said. That includes renovation of the existing building and construction of an Events and Education wing, which will include a Black Box Theater, ballrooms, meeting rooms, lounge areas, spaces for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) programming and an art gallery.

When the project is done, the building that originally opened in 1999 will have grown by about 80,000 square feet. Formerly called the Plymouth Creek Center, the newly branded Plymouth Community Center hosts about 800 city recreation programs each year and attracts about 300,000 visitors annually, according to the city.

Tim Harlow

Dakota County

County board elects Gaylord as chair

Dakota County Commissioner Kathleen Gaylord was elected Tuesday to serve as chair of the Dakota County Board of Commissioners in 2022.

Gaylord, who represents South St. Paul, West St. Paul, Sunfish Lake and parts of Inver Grove Heights, has served on the board since 2003. She was elected as a City Council member and mayor of South St. Paul before becoming a county commissioner.

“As the board chair for 2022, I’m committed to doing what we as a county do so well and to doing it in a fiscally responsible way that benefits our constituents and our taxpayers,” Gaylord said in a statement. “I truly appreciate the honor of leading the board in 2022.”

Gaylord also said that she will not seek re-election to the County Board after finishing her current term.

Gaylord succeeds Commissioner Mary Liz Holberg, who was chair in 2021. Commissioner Liz Workman was elected vice chair for 2022.

Erin Adler

New Brighton

Long Lake Regional Park hosts Ice Castles

Ice Castles, a large illuminated walk-through ice display and winter playground, opened for the season Friday at Long Lake Regional Park in New Brighton. The Ramsey County park last hosted Ice Castles in early 2020.

The massive structure features tunnels, caverns, towers, fountains, slides and sculptures built from icicles. The Minnesota location is one of five Ice Castles locations this year.

The Utah-based company also operates in Utah, Colorado, Wisconsin, New Hampshire and New York.

“We are excited to bring the magic of Ice Castles back to the Twin Cities this winter with an expanded experience,” Ice Castles’ CEO Kyle Standifird said in a statement. “Our mission is to create a fun and safe outdoor attraction where people can escape from the hustle of daily life for a moment and step into a frozen fairy-tale world.”

The company was founded in 2011 by Utah dad Brent Christensen, who was inspired after he began building icy creations for his six children in his own yard.

Tickets are available online at icecastles.com.

Shannon Prather



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