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1,500+ Attend Woodman's Center Community Day Event

On Saturday, April 1, the Friends of the Woodman's Center welcomed more than 1,500 area residents to join in on a special event full of learning and community engagement hosted by the Friends. The event was held at Uptown Janesville from 10 am to 1 pm inside the former Sears building. The building, located at 2500 Milton Avenue, serves as the future site of Woodman's Sports and Convention Center. The event was only one of many community engagement opportunities to learn about the Woodman's Center and provide feedback. The day's conversations added to the already over 5,000 community interactions made by the Friends since 2022.

The open-house-style Woodman's Center Community Day event offered another opportunity for the public to sit down and speak in an informal setting with community volunteers who have been actively engaged in the planning process for the facility since the beginning.

"This was an important day for the project. Our goal was to facilitate an opportunity for volunteers and partners to engage in productive dialogue with community members and collect trending questions and concerns, which will be shared at the City Council meeting on Monday, April 10," said Sabrina Siker Bowerman, Friends Group Project Manager.

"We achieved that, plus more. The Friends shared project facts and the economic-boosting evidence behind the facility's viability with attendees. We saw a definitive shift in public perception of the project when sharing the renderings along with answering questions directly. The community consensus is that this project is so much more than just an ice arena; it will be the heart of our community with resources available for an infinite number of different organizations.

Thank you to everyone who took the time to ask thoughtful questions, share valuable concerns, learn more – and most importantly, have fun with their families."

The Friends set up interactive spaces to showcase and represent activities that could take place at the potential Woodman's Center, including:

  • children's games

  • youth sports

  • adult recreation

  • entertainment

  • special events

In addition, attendees could see the most recent project renderings and drawings, learn about estimated costs, community impact outcomes and private fundraising efforts, discuss any questions, and provide feedback to the group.

Community groups, supporters, and dozens of local volunteers helped, including:

A special thank you goes out to our critical community supporters, Woodman's Markets, Mercyhealth, and the Kennedy Family Foundation.

If you missed the event and would like to read a recap, check out this Sunday feature from the Janesville Gazette. We enjoyed having Gazette reporter Kylie Balk-Yaatenen available to join us and ask hard but thoughtful questions to benefit local readers. We also have many Community Day photos provided by Full Spectrum Photography on our Facebook page.

A Transformative Project That Gives Back

The Woodman's Center will operate under a public model by the City of Janesville. This unique facility has something for everyone, from ice, turf, and indoor athletic courts to conference, meeting, special event, and community spaces. The center would create an economic impact of $23 million annually, plus a one-time construction impact of nearly $75 million. The projected annual expense is just $38.25*, or $3.19 per month, per City of Janesville homeowner.

*Calculations are based on a 20-year note, an interest rate of 5.35%, and a median assessed home value of $150,100 (City of Janesville, 2022).

How To Support the Project

Projects like the Woodman's Center don't happen quickly. This is a long-term partnership between the City of Janesville, homeowner contributions, private sector institutions, sponsors, and donors, including the Friends of the Woodman's Center.

If you believe in this project and want to see it happen, we need you to Become a Friend today and show your support with a pledge. Any gift amount will benefit the Janesville community for decades to come.


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