Indoor multi-use turf and aquatics center would provide year-round recreation in Grand Forks – Grand Forks Herald

GRAND FORKS — Improving the quality of life and driving economic growth are some of the factors an indoor sports facility and aquatics center could have on the community, Jill Nelson, the Grand Forks Park District’s director of operations and community relations, said.

Nelson said a potential indoor turf facility has been a topic of discussion throughout the years.

“As other cities are adding multi-use turf facilities around our region, the topic has become more frequent and the benefits are becoming more evident,” Nelson said.

The need for an indoor aquatics center has also been discussed as Nelson said the school district’s swimming pools and the pool at the UND Hyslop Sports Center are requiring more maintenance as they get older.

Nelson said the goal of an indoor turf facility and an indoor aquatics center would be to provide recreational activities to residents all year, which in turn would drive more economic impact in the community.

“If we had a multi-year turf facility, recreation user groups, such as pickleball or soccer, could run all year,” 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 throughout the region.

“No. 1, we’re interested in the quality of life aspects to attract and retain people in our community and region and No. 2, we know there’s going to be a significant economic impact,” Feland said.

The city currently doesn’t have an indoor turf facility that can hold a variety of sports including soccer, basketball, volleyball and pickleball, along with other amenities.

The location of where these facilities may go is still undecided, but Feland said five locations have been looked at so far. Those 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 UND’s campus.

An estimated cost for the facilities is also unclear at this time as Nelson said the feasibility study will further determine the scope of the facilities and the amenities that could be included.

“Until the feasibility study is complete, we will not know the full scope of the project, thus predicting an anticipated cost is extremely difficult at this point in time,” Nelson said.

The Park District recently hired the consulting firm BerryDunn / GrenPlay

to complete a strategic facilities conceptual planning and feasibility study for a potential multi-use indoor sports facility and indoor aquatics center. Feland said the consulting firm will also help with picking the best location for the facilities.

BerryDunn / GreenPlay is tasked with assessing the possibility of a 300,000 square foot multi-use sports facility which could include amenities such as a turf field for soccer, football, lacrosse, baseball, softball and similar sports, as well as a running track, courts for basketball, volleyball, pickleball and similar sports. Other amenities could include an indoor aquatic facility with a competitive swimming and diving pool, lap pool and other features.

The Park District is moving forward with the study to determine if the facility is feasible and sustainable with the goal to have it completed by this fall.

“In the end, the feasibility study will give us a much more accurate view of what is desired, what is needed, and ultimately what is sustainable,” Nelson said.

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