Editor's note: This story is part of a series looking back at some of the biggest stories of 2018. Find the rest of the series here: Top Ten 2018.
Hope Fieldhouse continues to seek donations as the community sports facility has yet to reach the $1.5 million needed to move forward with the project.
In May, Rosemount Planning Commission unanimously approved building plans for the project, which was a necessary step for the newly minted 501(c)3 nonprofit to continue progress on lending and finalizing architectural plans.
Videos on the Hope Fieldhouse Facebook page continue to draw attention to the shortage of gym space in the area and the need for more donations to secure the new space.
"The feedback we have heard is truly nothing by positive and our two operational partners are doing a fantastic job of being out in the community and talking about our projects, helping us fundraise and they have really been strong advocates for us which has eased its way into a lot of corporate sponsorships," president of Hope Fieldhouse Dan Corley said at the time of the Planning Commission's vote.
The mission of Hope Fieldhouse is to "enhance and enrich the lives of children and their families within our community by providing a quality athletic facility that is purposeful, safe, and fun," as stated on their website.
A large part of that contingent is the Rosemount Area Athletic Association, which represents 21 youth sports and roughly 3,300 kids from kindergarten to eighth grade.
Another partner planned for the facility is Dakota United Hawks, which offers more than 50 programs for youth with cognitive and physical disabilities in Dakota County. The group planned to apply for grants to support the project.
After a request for proposal was sent out in July, City Council at its Sept. 4 meeting approved a contract with 292 Design Group to perform a needs assessment and feasibility study for indoor athletics in Rosemount, following a recommendation from Parks and Recreation Director Dan Schultz and staff.
The city received six proposals total and interviewed three companies before offering their recommendation.
Schultz told council members one of the aspects of 292 Design Group that stood out in the interview was their desire to move forward with a space that was "right-sized" to what the community and nothing more.
"The idea behind the whole needs assessment and feasibility study is to really listen to our residents and then work to try to find a project that we can be happy with, that we can be satisfied and meet our needs," Schultz said at the meeting.
The study is expected to last approximately five months.
Hope Fieldhouse will lease land from Community of Hope Church, but the fieldhouse will not be affiliated with the church.
To follow progress of Hope Fieldhouse, go to www.hopefieldhouse.org.