ST. JOSEPH -- Several area groups are coming together to start fundraising for the new St. Joseph Community Center. The Jacob Wetterling Recreation Center will be a part of the larger community center.

At a news conference Tuesday, Jerry Wetterling spoke about how he and Patty are honored to be a part of the process.

"We are thrilled to be a part of this new opportunity for St. Joseph, and honored to have the new rec center to be dedicated to Jacob."

He added, St. Joseph needs to keep up with other area cities.

"Meanwhile other communities have been building things for their youth and other citizens, we will be reaping the benefits of this wonderful facility, and it will touch everyone in this area."

The city has committed $6,000,000 to the $12,000,000 project.

The remaining $6,000,000 is the community fundraising goal.  The money needs to be raised in the next two years. Jane Conrad is a field representative with the East-Central Minnesota Labor Council.

She says they are determined to reach their goal.

"We will be working together to raise the $6,000,000 to make this project a reality, what happened with Jacob was a tragedy, and we should never forget that."

The facility will have three gyms, and at least two memorials to Jacob, including a lantern lit 24/7 and two columns forming a number 11.

Some of the other plans are three gyms, a walking track, historical center, two multipurpose rooms and a possible climbing wall.

Officials say they have a tentative opening date of 2019.

If you'd like to help out, the City of St. Joseph has set up a donation account at Sentry Bank.

Photo Provided by City of St. Joseph
Photo Provided by City of St. Joseph
Photo Provided by City of St. Joseph