Construction Underway on New Rec Center | VideoEvan Kruegel | 9/6/2012
"This week has been a great week, we`ve broken ground and we`ve got some dirt moving. It`s pretty exciting at this point that it`s actually coming to reality," said Parks Director Darin Krueger.
The building will sit on roughly 12 acres of land on the eastern side of the campus. To say it`s a big project, would be a substantial understatement.
"This is big, the building right now will sit around 240,000 square feet, which is quite large."
To give you an example, the super Walmart in Williston is about 180,000 square feet. The Rec Center will be 25 percent bigger than that, and over five times as large as the old Rec Center
"We felt that to do it right, we had one shot at this. The building`s going to be here for 50-100 years, so let`s put everything in there that we can afford, and we think we`ve done that."
Amenities will include an Olympic sized swimming-pool, instructional pool, huge water park, tennis courts, turf field and a 200M track. As if that isn`t enough, the city has recently decided to add a golf simulator, batting cages and a senior center.
"We try to make sure that if you`re 1 year old or 110, there`s something in this building for you to try and improve your quality of life in Williston," said Krueger.
The project would not have been possible without a partnership with Williston State College. In Krueger`s eyes, it`s a win-win for everyone.
"They donated the land. To buy this many acres would have cost a ton of money. And by partnering with them to build it on campus, we can hire their students, so we get a workforce right here."
Last year in April, the city voted against the additional one percent sales tax that would be necessary to fund the project. In November, voters changed their minds, and decided the one percent increase in sales tax, was well worth the reward.
"The Rec Center would not be a reality without that funding. And thankfully, the voters realized that this community needs something like this to improve our quality of life and make this the greatest place to live. A lot of us believe this is the greatest place to live, and this just adds to it. This definitely makes us the western star of North Dakota, no doubt about it. This is being talked about all over the country."
The grand opening may still be over a year away, but with so many great amenities, it`s okay to start getting excited.