Snakes and slides: How locals are imagining the Reindahl "Imagination Center"

MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) -- Madison Public Library is asking community members on the East Side how the proposed Imagination Center at Reindahl Park should look.

9-year-old James Moore and his friend Dominic Dean play at Reindahl Park, the future site of the Imagination Center.

The new library, planned for construction in 2022, is currently in the initial planning stages, according to library planner Kevin Englebert. Englebert said he is focusing on small groups to gather what local stakeholders want out of a library, located in a park.

“We have a title of the Imagination Center, and that’s to reflect that we’re hoping to have more than just a library space in that location,” Englebert said. “We’re hoping to partner with other service providers and really, truly make a dynamic space in this community.”

He said anything is possible. To 8-year-old Dominic Dean, “anything” means snakes and a zoo. His friend James Moore said the library should include a slide.

“We should build a slide inside the library, so then if you want to get down faster, not walking down, you can slide down and you’ll be outside,” Moore said.

John Rosch, who lives near the future site of the Imagination Center, said he is excited about the project.

“The best Imagination Center for me would have a library in it but would (also) have space for people from the park system,” Rosch said. “It would have places where old people like me could get together, and we could play cards.”

With a vision still yet to be finalized, the project was moved to the Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway’s Horizon List for next year’s budget.

Englebert said the community brainstorming process will last until the end of this year, but he hopes to continue to engage locals throughout the future design and building processes.