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Janesville approves next phase for proposed indoor sports complex

The Woodman Community Center would include a permanent ice rink.
It would be located in the former Sears building in the Uptown Janesville mall.
Published: Oct. 28, 2021 at 6:38 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 28, 2021 at 7:16 PM CDT
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JANESVILLE, Wis. (WMTV) - A Janesville indoor sports complex is one step closer to approval.

The proposed Woodman Community Center would be located in the former Sears building in the Uptown Janesville mall.

On Monday, the Janesville City Council voted to move the project into the design phase.

The 20,000 square-foot space would include a permanent ice facility and two other areas that could be used as either ice, turf, or hardwood.

From the ice to the hardwood, there's plenty of versatility in the proposed Woodman Community Center. 🏀🏒 The $29 million...

Posted by Gabriella Rusk NBC15 on Thursday, October 28, 2021

City leaders and tourism officials say this facility could make Janesville a hub for athletics and tourism.

“We have a large unmet need for athletics facilities in our community,” said Jennifer Petruzzello, the City of Janesville’s Neighborhood and Community Service Director. “This would really help fill that gap.”

Christine Rebout, the Executive Director for the Janesville Convention and Visitors Bureau, says sports tourism is important to the economy.

“Youth sports was one of the first things that bounced back for us post-pandemic,” said Rebout.

The city estimates the $29 million project could bring in $10 million per year.

Officials say this facility will fill a gap between the Dells, Madison and Milwaukee areas.

“This is kind of ideally situated in the middle of those major regional centers,” said Petruzzello. “There’s a lot of interest in having tournaments and bringing teams together.”

The center could also be used for business conferences and other events.

“We love the ability to bring additional square footage for meeting and conference businesses because it does allow us to have year-round dollars coming in through meetings and conferences,” said Rebout.

The location on Milton Avenue also would bring a boost to businesses in the area.

“It really is an ideal location from a financial standpoint and from the ability to create economic impact,” said Rebout.

Over the next year, the city will work with a design consultant to create a design proposal. After that, the city council will award a bid and give the project final approval.

“I think we’re more than halfway there,” said Petruzzello.

The renderings of the proposed Woodman Community Center are courtesy of Angus-Young.

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