Activity center nears completion in Northwood – Albert Lea Tribune

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After some delays, the new Viking Activity Center at Northwood-Kensett Community School High School is preparing to open.

Michael Crozier, superintendent of the Northwood-Kensett Community School District, said the center — 38,554 square feet and two levels — will be used by teams for training and conditioning. The center will also be open to the community through memberships.

Crozier described the project, $5.3 million, as a combined effort between the community and the school, and it will be the first of its kind in the region.

“That was one of the things the community gave me,” he said. “That we needed more practice space for our students, for all of our primary school children. “So that’s one of the ways to solve this problem.”

The school district had two gymnasiums, which were also to include elementary sports.

“Everyone wanted and needed gym space,” he said.

The new space will include two courts, a wrestling room, changing rooms, a community room, men’s and women’s changing rooms, a physiotherapy office and offices on the ground floor. The top floor will have a track and weights. There will also be a cardio area with treadmills, stationary bikes and elliptical machines. No equipment has yet been shipped, but Crozier said it is ready for delivery.

It used to be that sports students would use elementary school or primary or high school gymnasiums and cause them to be constantly full.

Construction began last April and was originally scheduled to be completed in February, but is now expected to open on June 1. Only members can use the activity center. Membership fees range from $400 per year (for a family) to $80 (students in grades 9-12).

“[I want this to be] a place where all our students have the opportunity to practice all the sports they want, from primary to secondary, and a place where the community can come to train, have a place to gather. It is both not only for the school, but also as a community place.

To pay it, Crozier said he borrowed from the one-cent sales tax the district receives each year, and the community contributed about $1 million.

“We borrowed $3.2 million, I think, against that,” Crozier said. “So we’re going to pay it back over the next eight years.”

The center is attached to the high school building at 701 Seventh St. N.

Hours during the school year will be 5:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 5:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, and 12 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday. During the summer, hours will be 5:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 5:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, and 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday.

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