Work to begin soon on Vikings Activity Center in Northwood – Albert Lea Tribune

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NORTHWOOD — Officials will begin work on the Vikings Activity Center in the spring, as fundraising efforts bring the wish-list facility closer to a reality for the northern Iowa community.

The $5.3 million Vikings Activity Center is expected to alleviate the lack of space affecting youth and school teams and also provide a fitness center for area residents.

“For school, the activity center will give our youth and college athletic programs more options for training and games, without competing with high school programs for facilities,” the director said. of Northwood-Kensett High School, Keith Fritz.

Grand opening of the two-story, 37,100-square-foot facility is tentatively scheduled for April, with construction expected to be complete in February 2022.

“Our belief is that people are more likely to move to rural communities like Northwood if these programs and activities are in place in a facility that is accessible to everyone,” Fritz said.

The main level will include two fields, areas for two wrestling/cheerleading mats, locker rooms, a multipurpose room, pitching and hitting areas for baseball, and offices available for rent (a local physiotherapist has already booked one). The upper level will feature a walking/running track and separate areas for cardio machines and weightlifting equipment.

The facility will be attached to the secondary school on the northeast side.

The general public will be able to purchase subscriptions.

“In addition to the benefits to the school of the significantly expanded gymnasium and indoor track space, it will provide a venue for year-round recreational, health and wellness, social programs and activities. , fitness and educational for the whole community,” said Fritz, who is also a member of the fundraising committee.

Through January, the facility’s fundraising committee had raised more than $1 million, including $453,000 in grants from Enhance Iowa.

The Enhance Iowa program is hosted by the Iowa Economic Development Authority and supports “the construction of recreational, cultural, educational, or entertainment facilities that improve the quality of life” in these communities.

Most of the funding for the building comes from the school district. Officials have committed $4.2 million for the project.

The difference of $112,000 still needs to be increased.

So far, fundraising efforts have taken place at “various sporting and public events,” said Bradley Christianson, chairman of the fundraising committee.

“At these events, we shared images of the installation, sold clothing and distributed brochures to the public, in addition to answering their questions,” Christianson said.

The group has received help from foundations, trusts, corporations, individuals, promotions and municipalities.

Supporters have also emailed the community and followed up with supporters of key projects in the past.

An ongoing campaign to sell legacy bricks will continue into the spring as those donations “keep pouring in,” Christianson said.

After more than two years of work, no additional fundraising is currently planned.

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