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Beyond Just a Building: Woodman's Center Continues to Take Shape


Renderings of the three spaces within the Woodman's Center.

As the design process nears completion, the Friends of the Woodman's Center are excited to share the latest round of facility renderings provided by Zimmerman Architectural Studios, Inc. The collaborative teams continue to make a concerted effort for community involvement, and it shows through the design of all 130,000 square feet at the site of the former Sears Building at Uptown Janesville.


These aren't just static spaces; they're designed for versatility, marrying function with flexibility. The aim is to provide a unique and multifaceted experience for every user. A testament to this community-driven design? Look no further than our dialogue with sports teams and potential user organizations. Thanks to their invaluable insights, these spaces have been crafted to evolve as the level of competition does. As teams grow and needs change, so do flex spaces, courts, and dimensions, creating a haven for adaptable events and inclusive sports. This innovation paves the way for broader use and more opportunities for all.


Let's take a closer look!


Exterior Perspectives


Accessible to downtown and surrounding cities, the Woodman's Center will be a prominent feature to Janesville's north side and visitors entering the city from the interstate. Whether viewed from Milton Avenue's front facade or the main arena entry on the south (Kohl's side) and east entry connection to Uptown Janesville, facility entrances will easily guide visitors to any space. The south side, specially designed for hockey games and ice-skating events, will lead directly to the Mercyhealth Arena.



Interior Explorations


As you travel inside, you'll encounter an expansive lobby—the gateway to the rest of the Woodman's Center—with a welcome desk waiting to greet you, assist with your event, or even offer skate rentals. To the right from the main entry or through the south entry (Mercyhealth Arena entrance), you're welcomed into more than just a waiting area; it will serve as a prelude to the exciting offerings that lie within the Center including a concession stand and space to connect with fellow community members. Reflected in the design, the Woodman’s Center pays deep respect to the community support rooted deep within this project.



Three Distinct Spaces: Main Arena, a Multipurpose Arena, and a Flex Space for Events and Athletics


This multifaceted facility has been designed with three key areas: a year-round ice arena for hockey and figure skating events, a versatile 20,000 square foot space that alternates between a conference center and a hardcourt for athletics and youth sports, and a multi-use arena that can transition between an ice rink and a dry court for various sports, events, or additional conference needs. We invite you to explore each space through these enhanced facility drawings and imagine how you envision yourself here.



1. Flexibility at Its Best: Convention and Events Center


The Woodman's Center boasts a sprawling Convention and Events Center, specifically designed as a flex space that can be adapted to meet various event requirements Janesville doesn't currently offer. With a capacity to hold 1,200 individuals in a banquet setting and 20,000 square feet of event space, it is suitable for hosting keynote speakers, meals, break-out sessions, and trade shows. A local venue eliminates the need to travel to cities like Madison, Green Bay, Chicago, or Milwaukee. The Center is also well-suited for camps, hunting and boating shows, small business conventions, swap meets, and more.


The convention center space can also be transformed for athletic use and divided into three separate areas. Explore the possible configurations, from accommodating multiple basketball courts to a fully utilized theater-style setup accommodating more than 1,500 for entertainment or even a classroom or speaker-style layout.


In addition, two meeting rooms of 670 square feet each (capable of combining into one) adjacent to this space can serve as break-out rooms for events or used separately to host small meetings or community gatherings.



2. Multipurpose Arena


Additionally, including a multipurpose arena is a testament to the Center's commitment to adjustable spaces for multi-sport use, conferences, and events, offering seating for 250 spectators. Seasonal transformations are in store and will boast a six-month secondary ice rink convertible to a full-fledged tournament-regulated court for basketball or volleyball, and even turf for soccer or bocce ball.


The multipurpose arena could support more significant events like trade shows, an entertainment venue, and community gatherings. The secondary arena will also serve as an accessible emergency-use space in the event of a natural disaster and a community resource location or vaccination clinic.



3. Main Arena: Year-Round Ice Rink


The Mercyhealth Arena is a year-round ice rink that will satisfy serious sports enthusiasts and those with an affinity for ice skating or hockey. With a capacity for 1,500 spectators, it's perfect for high-adrenaline games, adding a touch of thrill and excitement to the Center's atmosphere while attracting outside visitors to our community in a meaningful way.


The Woodman's Center is designed to evolve with our community, providing a versatile space for sports, leisure, business, and collaboration. This adaptability is evident in recent enhancements, such as the addition of locker rooms for local high school hockey teams—made possible by a generous $1M donation from an anonymous benefactor to the Friends. By pooling resources and optimizing the use of available spaces, Janesville ensures maximum value from its investments. This approach fosters a strong sense of unity and promises long-term benefits for our community.



Have Feedback on Design?


The Woodman's Center will operate under a public model by the City of Janesville. In addition, the project aligns with the City's strategic objectives and is poised to become an integral part of Janesville's Shared Facility Use Agreements. Shared Facility Use Agreements represent a forward-thinking approach to community space allocation and ensure that facilities like the city-operated Woodman's Center are accessible and cater to diverse community needs.


If you have facility-specific inquiries, the community is encouraged to visit the City of Janesville's website and submit questions or feedback via the form on the webpage.


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