ROCHESTER, Minn. — It did not take long for the southeastern Minnesota communities and the state to jump on board with the Destination Medical Center project, but many residents still say they are a bit fuzzy on what the whole thing is about. Project leaders are doing their best to clear some of those things up.
Ron Seeger has called Rochester home for nearly six decades. So he is trying to learn a little more about some huge changes coming to his town.
“It’s the biggest thing to happen for Rochester for a long time. That’s why we’re here. We just want to see what it is,” Seeger said.
Before meeting with the public, DMC leaders have been meeting among themselves to get up-to-date on the plans.
“We really wanted to get out on the table all the thoughts, ideas, strategies that the boards have been thinking about, discussing with the public in Rochester, discussing amongst themselves,” said DMC Project Manager Amy Supple.
Some of the latest work involves Supple and her crew hiring on some firms from around the country to set their eyes on the city and give their thoughts on how to make it better.
“We’ve really been trying to educate them about what’s been done in the community already, what information exists and that they can draw from and really get them grounded in Rochester as a whole,” Supple said.
One of those people is Peter Cavaluzzi. He is from New York City and getting his first look at the third largest city in Minnesota.
“There’s been a lot of great work that’s been done before we arrived on the scene and although we’re coming in with fresh eyes, we’re going to learn from the work that’s been done and leverage that as part of the process,” Cavaluzzi said.
Growth of the city is expected to double or triple over the coming decades, but that is alright with residents like Seeger, as long as it still feels like home.
“The feel of the place is still here. If we can keep the feel of the community, even with all that’s going to happen, I’ll be pleased, and I think we can,” Seeger said.
Some of the ideas being tossed around include more places to gather for people, like a place that they can go for food, relaxation or more.
There will be three more of these large forums in the near future plus smaller ones focused on the eight key areas of DMC.