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Jeff Kolpack, Published April 17 2013

New $2.5 million curling club expected to open in Fargo this November

FARGO – It’s a road in south Fargo that has a zoo, strip mall, baseball fields, a hockey arena and hotels. By November, 23rd Avenue South just east of 45th Street will be home to a new curling rink.

The F-M Curling Club will break ground next week on a $2.5 million facility that will be built adjacent to the Southwest Youth Ice Arena. Built on Park District land, it will replace the current rink on 10th Street North that was opened in 1967.

It will be torn down and replaced by a parking lot to help ease the traffic congestion of adjacent Teamsters Arena and Carlson Coliseum, both of which crowd easily with hockey events. Roger Gress, Park District executive director, said the agreement with the Curling Club will be the same at the new facility.

“It’s an incredible shot in the arm for curling,” he said.

The club is funding the entire project with $2.25 million already raised, said club president Amelia Young. She said financing has already been secured for the remaining amount and weather permitting, construction will start on April 29.

“We were lucky enough to have some great leaders in the community get behind the project,” Young said.

The current facility in north Fargo would have required $500,000 for a new roof if it wasn’t going to be replaced and demolished.

Construction on the new facility is expected to take five to seven months, she said. The hope is to have it open for the U.S. Olympic Team Trials, which are set for mid-November at Scheels Arena.

The Curling Club’s 75th anniversary is also Nov. 14, which Young said would make for an ideal ribbon cutting ceremony.

“It’s a big year for our organization,” she said.

The organization has been talking about a new facility for at least 10 years. Serious fundraising began in the last two years that included an anonymous $250,000 matching grant.

The building will have six lanes instead of the current four and will be two stories, which is optimal for viewing curling. Two sheets will be handicap accessible, something that is difficult at the current building.

Forum reporter Jeff Kolpack can be reached at (701) 241-5546. Kolpack’s NDSU media blog can be found at www.areavoices.com/bisonmedia