GRAND FORKS — Improving quality of life and spurring economic growth are some of the factors an indoor sports facility and aquatic center could have on the community, said Jill Nelson, director of operations and community relations for the District of Grand Forks Park.
Nelson said a possible indoor turf installation has been a topic of discussion over the years.
“As other cities add multi-purpose turf facilities to our area, the topic has become more frequent and the benefits become more evident,” Nelson said.
The need for an indoor aquatics center was also discussed as Nelson said the school district’s pools and the UND Hyslop Sports Center pool require more maintenance as they age.
Nelson said the goal of an indoor turf facility and indoor aquatic center would be to provide year-round recreational activities for residents, which in turn would have a greater economic impact on the community .
“If we had a multi-year turf facility, recreational user groups, like pickleball or soccer, could run year-round,” she said. “It would also allow us to host more events and tournaments, leading to a greater economic impact. »
City Administrator Todd Feland echoed Nelson’s comments, adding that the facilities would also improve the quality of life for residents in the community and the entire region.
“No. First, we are interested in the quality of life aspects of attracting and retaining people in our community and our region and second, we know there will be a significant economic impact,” Feland said.
The city currently does not have indoor grass facilities that can accommodate a variety of sports, including football, basketball, volleyball and pickleball, as well as other facilities.
The location of these facilities is not yet decided, but Feland said five locations have been studied so far. These locations include the Columbia Mall, the Grand Cities Mall, the south side of the Alerus Center where the city owns property, in and around Choice Health and Fitness where the Park District owns property and some potential locations around the campus of the UND.
The estimated cost of the facilities is also unclear at this time, as Nelson said the feasibility study will further determine the scope of the facilities and what amenities could be included.
“Until the feasibility study is completed, we will not know the full scope of the project, so it is extremely difficult to predict an anticipated cost at this point,” Nelson said.
to complete a strategic facility conceptual planning and feasibility study for a potential multi-purpose indoor sports facility and indoor aquatic center. Feland said the consulting firm will also help choose the best location for the facility.
BerryDunn/GreenPlay is charged with evaluating the possibility of a 300,000 square foot multi-purpose sports facility that could include amenities such as a turf field for football, soccer, lacrosse, baseball, softball and similar sports, as well as a running track and courts. for basketball, volleyball, pickleball and similar sports. Other amenities could include an indoor aquatics facility with a competition and diving pool, lap pool and other features.
The Park District is continuing the study to determine if the facility is feasible and sustainable, with the goal of completing it by this fall.
“Ultimately, the feasibility study will give us a much clearer view of what is desired, what is needed and, ultimately, what is sustainable,” Nelson said.