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Published June 26 2012

$4 million renovation including indoor playground begins at Courts Plus

FARGO – This city’s membership-based fitness center will undergo an extreme makeover during the next six months.

Fargo Park District officials say the end result should transform the decades-old Courts Plus facility into a modern, community-friendly activity and wellness center.

Construction began Tuesday on the $4 million project to expand and renovate Courts Plus at 3491 S. University Drive.

Work on the facility should wrap up by Dec. 31.

The new addition will include an indoor playground for young children as well as two classroom-size spaces, an interactive room and a large multipurpose room that can be used for community education and fitness classes, general manager Kevin Boe said.

Crews will also bring the existing facility up to code, refinish the interior and exterior and add a new track, equipment and a smoothie bar, Boe said.

The project is being paid for by the Fargo Park District, with help from the F-M Junior League.

The league has pledged $200,000 to help pay for the indoor playground, a feature that inspired the more comprehensive project.

Park district Finance Director Jim Larson said the rest of the cost will be covered by using $1.5 million of the park district’s reserve funds and financing about $2.5 million over 15 years.

“This is going to take a dated facility and turn it into something that appeals to the entire community,” Fargo Mayor Dennis Walaker said at a groundbreaking ceremony Tuesday. “This investment in facilities that everyone can utilize is money extremely well spent.”

The park district took over Courts Plus in 1991, and it has not had any updates since.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Kristen Daum at (701) 241-5541