Lakeside Park has often been described as the crown jewel of the Fond du Lac community. The Park is enjoyed by thousands of residents and visitors throughout the year and is an ideal location for the dozens of special events and family get-togethers that are held there every year. In 2014, we asked ourselves, “Could we make it even better?” and “If so, how?”. And so the journey began…

In 2014, City Council formed the Lakeside Park Exploratory Committee (LPEC) to function in an advisory capacity to the Council regarding utilization options for Lakeside Park, and to present its recommendations to the Council. The LPEC completed their review in 2015 and presented 27 recommendations for future Lakeside Park Developments.

In 2016, the City retained Excel Engineering to assist with the creation of Lakeside Park master plan based upon the LPEC findings and recommendations. City staff unveiled master plan to Council, which included a new Pavilion Hub north of the termination of Main Street in Lakeside Park.

Council rejected the proposed master plan, deciding instead to build a new pavilion as a replacement for the current pavilion as well as directing the creation of a revised master plan.

In 2017, Council approved revised master plan and the construction of a new Pavilion. Council also approved the CIP that authorized funding for the design of a new Pavilion.

In 2018, the City retained Angus Young to design a new Pavilion, along with an expanded outdoor plaza, and began work on other items from the masterplan.

In June 2019, Council endorsed the pavilion design and construction was scheduled to begin in 2020.

In the Fall of 2019, City Council, along with the Supporters of Lakeside Park Exploratory Committee, expressed concerns that the existing masterplan did not move the needle far enough towards the recommendations from the LPEC and requested a change in direction that would make Lakeside Park a true destination to bring visitors from outside the community. Council approved a delay in the Pavilion project until February 15, 2020, to evaluate alternative proposals from community partners.

The new plans presented by the Supporters of Lakeside Park Exploratory Committee were approved in February 2020. The key components of the new plan included remodeling the existing Pavilion, building a new multipurpose facility, and adding an Amphitheater.

The Supporters pledged to contribute approximately $5.2 million for the addition of the Multi-purpose building with a restaurant by Lighthouse Point and an Amphitheatre on Oven Island. All of the multipurpose building by Lighthouse Point and a portion of the Amphitheatre would be paid for by this donation. The cost to the City would be some of the outside amenities such as parking lots, expanded docks, and new road renovations. The City would also contribute to the construction of the Amphitheatre at a shared cost with the Supporters group.

In June 2020, an update was presented to City Council and the Advisory Park Board with more details on the Pavilion remodel and the approach for the remainder of 2020.

In July 2020, proposals for a feasibility study regarding a multi-purpose building with a restaurant, meeting space, and space
for rotating exhibits on Lighthouse Point, as well as an amphitheater, along with a synthetic ice skating rink on Oven Island were collected. The winning proposal was submitted by Johnson Consulting and expected to be completed by October 14, 2020.

In September 2020, the City Council approved the Lakeside Park Enhancement Agreement, an agreement between the City of Fond du Lac and Lakeside Forward LLC. This Agreement sets forth a mutual understanding about the development of the projects associated with the Lakeside Park Alternative Master Plan.

In November 2020, Johnson Consulting presented the findings and recommendations from the completed feasibility study of the multi-purpose building and amphitheater at the regular City Council meeting.  The Power Point used during the meeting, and the final report can be accessed at the links below.

On January 25, 2021, in response to the recommendations Johnson Consulting included in the feasibility analysis, the Alternative Master Plan Management Team presented the team’s recommendations to the Advisory Park Board for several components of the Alternative Master Plan. The full presentation is available to watch on demand through the City’s website by selecting the “January 25 Advisory Park Board Meeting” link at this website https://www.fdl.wi.gov/city-council/webcasts/ .  The materials displayed during the presentation are linked below.

Public Information Meetings were held 8:30 am – 10:30 am on 2/25/2021, and 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm 3/2/2021, at the Radisson Hotel and Conference Center in Fond du Lac Wisconsin.  Citizens had the opportunity to view materials, and speak with members of the Enhancement Agreement Management Team regarding the recommendations made to the Advisory Park Board and City Council.  The materials presented are linked below:

A Geotechnical Engineering Exploration and Analysis was conducted for the proposed project. The results of that study is available below:

Monthly updates will be provided to the Advisory Park Board (APB) for the foreseeable future. APB meets on the 4th Monday of each month at 5:30pm in the City/County Government Center.

A complete chronology of events is available using the button below.

We remain committed to hearing from the public and providing complete transparency throughout this process. If you would like to provide input, you may add a statement below for City Council and Staff to review.