Help create a next-generation destination for the Northside

This spring and summer, Minneapolis Park Board (MPRB) is gathering community input for North Commons Park’s new community center, water park and playground. Join them and have your say!

In February the MPRB selected a design team for North Commons Park’s new community center and water park. Now it’s launching a new phase of community engagement to ensure these facilities, including a renovated playground, meet the needs of the North Commons Park community, now and into the future. (Note: the Phase 1 Improvements do not include the planning, design or construction of a sports dome.)

Everyone is invited to attend in-person and virtual Open Houses hosted by MPRB and the FIHÀN Design+Architecture team. Community members of all ages can weigh in on ideas and options, provide feedback and get answers to their questions. The design team hopes to hear from the public about what kinds of activities are most important in the building, waterpark and playground, and how to make those spaces welcoming for the Northside community.

In addition, MPRB is hiring individuals, non-profits and community organizations to serve as Community Collaborators for public engagement. This is an opportunity for local groups to submit proposals for building relationships, convening conversations and gathering feedback about this improvements project. Selected Collaborators will be paid for their work, which will inform the priorities and design for the North Commons community center, waterpark and playground.  

Other opportunities to participate in the project include an online survey; regular “office hours” at North Commons Community Center, where people can drop in to talk with project staff; and a Design Charette Week to take place in late June.

Public Engagement Opportunities – All are welcome!

In-person events are at North Commons Community Center, unless noted:

•     In-Person Open House #1 – Monday, May 16, 4-6 p.m., multi-purpose room.

•     Virtual Open House #2 – Monday, May 23, noon-1:30 p.m. – Zoom.

•     In-Person Open House #3 – Thursday, June 2, 6-8 p.m., multi-purpose room.

•     Online Survey (ongoing) –

•     Public Office Hours with project staff and consultants. On Wednesdays May 25, June 22, July 27 and August 24, 3:30-5 p.m. All are welcome to drop in and meet with staff and consultants, and ask questions, get info and updates and more.

•     Design Week – June 27 to June 30: Kick-off & Community Open House, Monday, June 27, 4:30-6:30 p.m.; Open Design Studio – Wednesday, June 29, noon-3 p.m.; and Wrap-Up & Community Open House – Thursday, June 30, 4:30-6:30 p.m. All Design Week activities take place in the multi-purpose room; additional details to be announced.

The North Commons Park-Phase 1 Improvements project is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to rebuild and transform the park’s facilities into a Northside hub for arts, recreation, athletics and a host of other community activities. 

The new community center, water park and renovated playground are key elements of the master plan for North Commons Park, approved in 2019 as part of the North Service Area Master Plan covering all Northside neighborhood parks.

Planned improvements include: Demolition of the current recreation center and construction of a community center to serve various Northside needs, including expanded gym space; community rooms; arts and media spaces; and youth oriented gathering spaces; reconfigured parking in a new location to improve efficiency, access and safety; relocation and reconstruction of the water park, last renovated in 1997, east of its current location; and renovation of the playground in its current location

Construction is planned for 2023-2025. Find more info at the project website: