Lakeside Park Feasibility Analysis Presented To Council

The Fond du Lac City Council finally had a chance to hear the results of the highly-anticipated Lakeside Park Master Plan Feasibility Study. Council heard from representatives of Johnson Consulting, hired by the City to complete a study that would gauge how reasonable it would be to place an amphitheater, as well as a multi-purpose building that would be home to a bistro and potential museum. Members of City Council had already approved moving forward on the Lakeside Park Project, with over $5 million in funding coming from a group of private-sector business partners, and another $5 million being committed by the City of Fond du Lac.

While most residents of Fond du Lac have agreed improvements to the park are a necessary part of growing, there’s been ongoing concern in regards to the improvements and additions slated for the Lighthouse Peninsula area. Charles Johnson, President/CEO of Johnson Consulting, spend almost an hour walking Council through their findings, which included recommending the bistro be built, as well as the amphitheater. It was suggested that the west part of Lakeside Park would be a great fit, and was widely discussed as the logical choice early on among both proponents and opponents of the overall plan. What was not expected was the recommendation from Johnson that the amphitheater be located, ideally, on the former Saputo Cheese location. Johnson and his team thought the amount of parking across the street, as well as within walking distance, would be helpful in attracting capacity crowds. Johnson Consulting estimates the amphitheater would seat about 4,000 people. Charles Johnson also mentioned that utilizing the former Saputo property would expand the footprint of Lakeside Park with out taking away from the natural beauty, while also adding some infusion of retail growth heading back down Main St. towards downtown Fond du Lac.

Revenue estimates for the new additions to Lakeside Park would be expected to climb close to $2 million or more, on the grounds, with additional revenue being generated in the downtown area and also on overnight lodging.

The complete feasibility study is expected to ready for the public to view by the end of Thursday on the City of Fond du Lac website.