THIS FRONT VIEW of a proposed new Grace & Lloyd Mitchell Pavilion adjacent to the Murray Park ball fields was submitted by Ripon-based BlowfisH Architects, LLC. 
									             submitted graphic
THIS FRONT VIEW of a proposed new Grace & Lloyd Mitchell Pavilion adjacent to the Murray Park ball fields was submitted by Ripon-based BlowfisH Architects, LLC. submitted graphic

     Members of Ripon’s Park & Recreation Committee may make a half-million dollar decision when they meet tonight (Wednesday) at 5 p.m.

     They likely will recommend the Ripon Common Council spend $484,811 toward building a new senior center, or apply it toward construction of a concession pavilion at the Murray Park ball diamonds.  

     Whichever option the city selects will be financed by an unforeseen windfall courtesy of the estate of Lloyd Mitchell, a descendent of the family that once lived on the land southeast of Green Lake now referred to as “Mitchell’s Glen.”

     For eight months the Park & Rec Committee has met to consider options, most of which fell by the wayside due to lack of detail or follow-through.

     But two proposals have survived, both championed by folks who have made persuasive cases why their plan is viable and necessary. ...

     Both proposals fit within the scope of the Mitchell requirements — they would remain city-owned, bear the Mitchell moniker and offer a public use.

     It’s in the area of cost that the two plans diverge.

     The baseball boys — Greg Dragolovich, Bill Stollfuss and Tom Moniz — have a quote in hand to build the pavilion for no more than the $484,000 gift. ...

     The senior center proponents — Noreen Johnson and Annette Klein — are looking at a final cost of around $1.6 to $1.7 million, unfurnished and absent site-acquisition costs. The balance, they concede, would need to be raised via fund-raising.

     Bottom line: Both pursuits are worthy. The senior/community center is ambitious, but offers a substantial payback. However, if organizers are unable to raise the more than $1 million necessary to supplement the Mitchell funds, those donated dollars may be at risk.

     The pavilion is needed, affordable, will benefit many generations of young families and falls squarely within the intentions of the benefactor.

     For that reason, Park & Rec Committee members tonight should vote to recommend the Common Council dedicate the Mitchell funds to build a new pavilion at Murray Park.              

— Tim Lyke

     To read the entire editorial, see the Aug. 8, 2019 edition of The Ripon Commonwealth Press.