Helping Rosemount’s Steeple Center reach new heights

Parks and recreation coordinator to facilitate site’s event calendar

rm stephanie baumann 2 colA few hundred people turned out for the first event inside the recently completed Steeple Center addition in Rosemount on Friday.

The Tree Lighting and Rosemount Community Band concert attracted scores of people and is the kind of feel-good community event that new Rosemount Parks and Recreation coordinator Stephanie Baumann hopes to see replicated in the future.

The city of Rosemount hired Baumann in June, and since that time she has been organizing protocols for coordinating Steeple Center rentals, assisting with Rosemount Area Seniors programming and meeting with Rosemount Area Arts Council members.

The seniors and arts group are projected to be two of the largest users of the Steeple Center, which has been closed to public events for the past year as the 10,000-square-foot addition was being constructed along with the neighboring senior living facility The Rosemount.

It appears interest in the Steeple Center is high. There were so many people at Friday night’s free event, Rosemount City Council Members Jeff Weisensel and Mark DeBettignies chipped in to wheel more seats into the performance hall for the free band concert and songs by the Rosemount High School chamber choir.

That interest level should make Baumann’s job easy and harder. Promoting the new space to groups and individuals to use for events, classes, meetings and parties might not be difficult, but managing the calendar could be a challenge.

It’s a job with which Baumann is very familiar.

She has worked in the field of recreational programing and event management for more than 10 years at organizations including the University of Minnesota; city of Westfield, Indiana; and Special Olympics Minnesota.

Baumann received her Master of Education in sports management from the University of Minnesota and her Bachelor of Science in recreation, park and leisure studies also from the U of M.

After spending four years in the Indianapolis area, Baumann and her husband moved to Burnsville two years ago, which brought them closer to friends and family.

Baumann took some time recently to complete a Q-and-A with the newspaper. Following are her responses.

What are you most excited about in your new role for the city?

I am most excited about helping to facilitate programs that enhance the quality of life for the residents of Rosemount. That is the best part of working for Parks and Recreation!

When you first saw the Steeple Center, what were your impressions? What kind of potential do you see at the site?

I was taught from a very early age to appreciate history, so I was thrilled to see a community embracing its past and repurposing this beautiful building to be enjoyed by a new generation. We now have a facility with the architectural features and beauty unique to a historical building but with modern conveniences, such as a full catering kitchen and expanded restrooms, making it a great space for weddings and any other special event.

I imagine you have met some of the senior, arts and other residents in the city. What can you say about their excitement and involvement to have the Steeple Center fully opened? What kind of things are they most excited about?

The Rosemount Area Seniors’ current home is a single room with no windows. What a difference for them moving to the Steeple Center, which is full of huge windows, creating a bright and welcoming space! Having multiple rooms also drastically increases the possibility for expanded programming. We hope to offer many new options in the future that just were not possible before due to lack of space and time. With one senior living facility attached, another just down the road and having the building open to the public during the weekdays, the hope is also to see increased participation and reach members of the community we maybe hadn’t in the past.

With the new multipurpose rooms, RAAC will also be able to expand their programming to include more classes. In addition to the many wonderful events they already offer, they are looking at adding classes such as painting, photography, basket weaving and more. I think having them and the Rosemount Area Seniors all under one roof will also really bridge these two groups. They have a lot to offer each other!

How can people schedule an event?

For more information about renting the Steeple Center, contact Rosemount Parks and Recreation at 651-322-6000 or visit the city’s website at ci.rosemount.mn.us for more information about the permitting process.

Email Tad Johnson at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @editorTJ.