Debate Over Costs at Ingersoll Sports Complex

ROCKFORD (WIFR) – Some Rockford aldermen say they’re not entirely comfortable with the cost to convert the downtown Ingersoll building into a sports facility.

Work with what we have, or start from scratch? That’s what some Rockford aldermen want debated when it comes to converting the former factory into a sports facility.

The center will include 8 basketball and 16 volleyball courts. To get there, old manufacturing equipment needs to be removed, plus the floor has to be raised since the site is on a flood plain. The price tag on all this is between $18 and $20 million dollars. According to the Park District. They will run the facility once it’s built, however a few alderman think it may be better to tear down some or all of the building and start fresh.

“The total cost I think starting out in the $12- $13 million dollar range and its approaching $20 million. We just need to look at which one makes more economic sense and if it makes more sense to use the building down there or part of that building and add on to it,” said (R) 4th Ward Alderman Kevin Frost.

Part of what we’ve been doing over the last few months with the City of Rockford leadership and our architectural team is to analyze the costs to build new,” said Tim Dimke, Rockford Park District Executive Director.
Dimke says a section of the building will remain undeveloped but could one day include a skate park or rock wall. He adds the facility should be open in spring of 2015.

The project is being paid for with seven million dollars in state grants, another seven million in city bonds, plus money from the park district and the increased hotel tax in Winnebago County. The tax has not yet increased, but Dimke hopes that will be approved in the next two months.

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