The New Ulm City Council unanimously voted to move forward with a design option for the Rec Center and authorized construction documents to be prepared, despite higher than expected costs. The project will be paid for using local sales tax funds approved in 2016. The original cost estimate for the four projects was $9.5-million. A recent estimate placed the cost closer to $13-million. City, construction and project officials were able to reduce the project to an estimated $11.5-million. The four projects include the aquatic center, gymnastics center, indoor playground and wellness/fitness center. Two design options were presented to the council by Park and Rec Director Tom Schmitz. The first was the $11.5-million option that included all four RENU projects. The second option was a scaled-back version to keep costs at the original $9.5-million, which the city council felt reduced the RENU project too far. Bids are expected to come back to the council in May.