Activity center

Work will begin soon at the Vikings Activity Center in Northwood – Albert Lea Tribune


NORTHWOOD – Officials will begin work on the Vikings Activity Center in the spring, as fundraising efforts bring the wishlist installation 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 the school, the activity center will give our youth and college sports programs more options for practice and games, without competing with high school programs for facilities,” said the director of the school. Northwood-Kensett Secondary, Keith Fritz.

The two-story, 37,100-square-foot facility is tentatively slated for April, with construction expected to be completed in February 2022.

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

The main level will have two courts, areas for two wrestling / cheerleader mats, changing rooms, a multi-purpose room, throwing 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 weight lifting equipment.

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

The general public will be able to purchase memberships.

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

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

The Enhance Iowa program falls under 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. The authorities have committed $ 4.2 million to the project.

The difference of $ 112,000 has yet to be collected.

Fundraising efforts so far 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 also sent letters to the community and followed up with supporters of key projects in the past.

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

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