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Silver Lake Station

Impact Area: Conservation, Health and Wellness, Social Equity
Region: Mid West

Help us transform old Fire Station #2 into Silver Lake Station, a centrally located multi-use community asset in Silver Lake Park.

$1,315 Raised out of $18,000
20 Donors
0 Days Remaining

About this project.

Our project is the restoration of the roof of Silver Lake Station.  Silver Lake Station is a former fire station, a once prominent and vital structure located on City land operated by the Parks and Recreation Department.  Given this building’s location, in the middle of Rochester, just north of downtown in a city park, on an extensive bike path network, just off the shores of Silver Lake, this building can remain an asset to the community.  The amount of funding we are seeking to raise will allow the roof to be restored including proper water proofing, insulation, and fire-proofing.  Silver Lake Station was chosen by the Leadership Greater Rochester (LGR) Class of 2015-2016 as the Community Impact Project.  In 2016 some funds were raised and spent on the exterior of the building; landscaping, painting, and a new railing.  This work was the initial effort to turn the once empty building back over to the community that surrounds it.  This fundraising campaign presents the opportunity to continue that transformation.

How will this impact your community?

Health and Wellness – once transformed, Silver Lake Station will be open to the community and will host a wide variety of events and activities.  Following a recent Partner Engagement Event held at the building, 19 partners have already been identified and have expressed interest in utilizing the space.  These groups vary and serve a wide range of citizens.  As a reflection of these groups, the programs and opportunities offered will be equally diverse.


Conservation – the main goal of Silver Lake Station is to conserve an existing City owned building that has been sitting empty following its former life as a fire station.  Given the building’s location, we feel it is an absolute asset to the community and rather than spend money tearing down this structure we see value in conserving not only the physical materials in the building itself but also preserving the history of the fire station and its importance to the community.


Social Equity – how this structure should be reused was debated for a long time.  Given the building’s location, it is likely that a private business could operate a successful restaurant or brewery.  But, our organization feels strongly that this is a public asset that should benefit the entire community and not cater to one industry.  Based on recent surveys, we know that the demand is high for low cost gathering spaces.

About us!

Leadership Greater Rochester is a comprehensive ten-month leadership development program created by the Rochester Chamber of Commerce Foundation.  The program’s mission is to develop and advance leaders through participation in personal, professional, and community activities designed to encourage individual responsibility for taking an active leadership role in the future vitality of the Greater Rochester area.


Rochester Parks and Recreation Department provides a variety of leisure time opportunities for people to enjoy.  The City of Rochester has more than 3500 acres of park land and more than 85 miles of paved trails to explore.  There are more than 100 individual park areas where one or more of the following can be found: 81 playground areas, 15 picnic shelters, 1 indoor/2 outdoor pools, a beach, 36 tennis courts, 34 horseshoe courts, 54 ball diamonds, 37 football/soccer fields, 15 basketball courts, 2 dog parks, 19 sand volleyball courts, 2 archery range, 2 frisbee golf courses, 2 garden plot sites, 3 groomed cross country ski trails, 9 outdoor hockey rinks and 6 indoor hockey rinks.  The Department works closely with a number of private organizations to provide a variety of recreational opportunities.  The citizens of this “All American City” take great pride in their park system.

The City of Rochester is located in southeast Minnesota, on the Zumbro River’s south fork, with a population of approximately 112,000 people.  Rochester is the birthplace of the renowned healthcare organization Mayo Clinic and home to one of IBM’s largest facilities as well as the University of Minnesota – Rochester, Winona State University, St. Mary’s University, and Rochester Community and Technical College.  Rochester’s economy is strong; thanks in part to Destination Medical Center (DMC) which will position Rochester, Minnesota as the world’s premier destination for health and wellness; attracting people, investment opportunities, and jobs to America’s City for Health and supporting the economic growth of Minnesota, its bioscience sector, and beyond.


The National Recreation and Park Association is a national not-for-profit organization dedicated to advancing park, recreation and conservation efforts that enhance quality of life for all people.  Through its network of more than 47,000 recreation and park professionals and citizens, NRPA encourages the promotion of healthy and active lifestyles, conservation initiatives and equitable access to parks and public space.  For more information, visit www.NRPA.org.


Given that our project is a construction project we would bid the work out and ask that the interested General Contractors supply us with their time line, with the understanding that the project must begin before February 24, 2018.  Because our selected project involves the roof of our building, it will be necessary to schedule the exterior work around the winter conditions.  Ideally it would be best to complete the work before winter sets in; however, the exterior work may need to wait until the spring of 2018.

Paul Widman
The Skipper
Brian D. Muellner
Alyssa Vagt
Mary Ann
Danielle Sommerfeldt
Shawn Fagan
The Professor
Heather Barness
Mathew Logelin
Thurston Howell III

About Paul Widman

Paul Widman has been the Director of the City of Rochester Parks and Recreation Department since 2014. Prior to the move to Rochester, Paul was the Assistant Director of Metro Parks in Nashville Tennessee. He managed a variety of facilities and programs and served on a community wide task force aimed at improving health of Nashville’s youth and teen population. Paul is a six year veteran of the US Army Infantry. He served in The Old Guard of the Army, the Army’s official ceremonial unit in Washington, DC. During this time Paul met his wife, Cara. They have four children. Paul and his family feel right at home in Rochester.

About Brian D. Muellner

Brian is just a guy who wants to preserve a cool building… who happens to be an architect for HGA, is interested in sustainable design, and is a graduate of Leadership Greater Rochester 2016. Brian grew up west of Silver Lake Station and would frequent the lake and its surrounding areas. As a boomerang citizen of Rochester; born and raised here, left after high school, lived in two additional countries and five other states – he’s back. Brian and his family are happy to call Rochester “home”.

About Alyssa Vagt

Alyssa Fordham Vagt is a native of Rochester and is a partner at CRW architecture + design group where she has been helping to shape the community since 2006. Alyssa has a passion for architecture, design, and improving her community. She also loves taking long walks around Silver Lake Station with her family, coffee, and singing loudly in her car.

About Danielle Sommerfeldt

Danielle Sommerfelt has a strong background in finance. She started in Owatonna in 2006 and then moved to Rochester in 2007 when she began her career with Bremer Bank. Danielle works closely with clients on personal loans, deposit accounts, and cash transactions. She has always had a passion for finance and customer service and it shows through her work. Danielle was a graduate of Leadership Greater Rochester class of 2016 and is still an active participant in Friends of Silver Lake Station.

About Shawn Fagan

Co-founder and creative director of both Fagan Studios and Red Couch Stories, Fagan uses photography and video to tell the stories of his subjects in an artful and captivating approach. When not behind a camera, Fagan can be found coaching his sons' soccer teams with Rochester Youth Soccer Association and leading the clubs Advisory Committee. Fagan also enjoys volunteering with Ronald McDonald House and Boys and Girls Club in creating content for their marketing needs.

About Heather Barness

Heather Barness is an Area Manager with Velair Property Management in Rochester, MN. She has a passion for helping people including encouraging healthy lifestyles. Silver Lake Station is a place she bikes by and would love to see the space better utilized for the community.

About Mathew Logelin

With a background in Electrical Engineering, by day, Matt works as the Manager of Optical Core Engineering at Consolidated Communications. When not earning a living he also has a strong passion for children, education, and the outdoors. Due to this he ends up being involved in the school PTA's, kids sports activities, and trying to keep his own kids outside as much as possible. The idea of adding a great building such as Silver Lake Station to our available park resources in the city we live in is truly a diamond in the rough.