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Indoor wellness center moving one step closer

$4 million has been committed by the Northwood-Kensett School District for an indoor shared school-public activity/wellness center. Now, fundraising will soon be under way for the remaining $1.4 million.

Posted: Sep 23, 2019 1:42 AM
Updated: Sep 23, 2019 11:02 AM

NORTHWOOD, Iowa - Cooler months are just around the corner, and that means workout routines will be moved indoors. But in Northwood, there is currently a lack of space for the public and youth to keep active during the colder season. In addition, the current setup forces clubs to adjust schedules in order to be able to use what's available.

Fortunately, there's an effort to get an indoor wellness center constructed, and it's getting one step closer to reality.

The Vikings Activity Center is a proposed two-story building planned to be constructed next to the Northwood-Kensett Junior-Senior High School, and planned to feature two full-sized basketball/volleyball courts, baseball/softball pitching and hitting areas, a wrestling room, a multi-purpose room, locker rooms, walking/running track, and more.

Bradley Christianson has a reason why he's on board with the center.

"My kids have gone up through youth sports here over the last few years, and I saw the need for more practice space for all high schoolers and junior high, but as well as youth sports."

To reach the desired vision, nearby wellness centers in locations like Garner, Sheffield and NIACC's center were researched to find out what worked, and what to do differently.

"We put that all together and presented that to the school board. They're very interested and they've been very supportive and now we're to the point where we're trying to move forward with it."

Recently, the Northwood-Kensett School District committed $4 million to the $5.4 million project, with the activity center committee now needing to make up the remainder. 

Regina Krambeer, who's kids have also run into issues with space, says the public's response has been overwhelmingly positive, with the biggest amenity that's been mentioned is the walking track.

"Obviously, we have a beautiful track that people can use during the summertime and nice weather, but it's the winter time that really gets people and want to get out."

To close the remaining gap in funding, there are fundraisers planned. Once the center is completed, Krambeer believes it will benefit not just the district, but the community as a whole.

"We'll be bringing people in to be able to eat at our restaurants, our gas stations, stuff of that nature, when we're able to hold events once the center is up."

The committee is working with the City of Northwood to help with part of the fundraising. The Northwood City Council will discuss the project at Monday night's council meeting, which will begin at 6 p.m. at City Hall.

Construction is expected to begin next summer.

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