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Eric Peterson, Published November 09 2013

F-M Curling Club celebrates opening of new $2.7M facility in time for Olympic trials

FARGO - Amelia Young won’t miss the leaky roof that often produced small stalagmites on the ice at the old Fargo-Moorhead Curling Club.

“Which doesn’t work so well when you are trying to make ice and paint it,” said Young, past president of the club. “It’s definitely past its prime.”

The building that housed the F-M Curling Club for nearly 50 years in north Fargo will soon be torn down and turned into a parking lot.

The club – which is set to reach its 75th anniversary next week – is moving to south Fargo into a new $2.7 million facility that is nearly completed.

“It’s fun to see the dream become a reality,” said Young, who has been part of the club for 10 years.

The F-M Curling Club is moving into its new facility as the top curlers in the country are coming to Fargo for the U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Curling. The event starts today at Scheels Arena.

“With the trials in town, we will have quite a bit of visibility for our club,” Young said.

A new facility was long overdue, said Steve Scheel, F-M Curling Club president.

“The building that we had been in for about 47 years was about falling down around us,” Scheel said. “From the leaking roof to the shifting foundation, that made curling interesting every spring as the rocks started to fall off to the side. … We have a lot of character in that old building, but we are happy to be here.”

The organization has been talking about a new facility for at least 10 years. Scheel said the serious fundraising started in the past two years.

The club was able to help lower the cost of the facility by having members do most of the finish work such as flooring, painting and assembling lockers. That work likely cut at least $250,000 off the final price tag, Scheel said.

The facility is built on Park District land, like the old building.

“This is a big thing for us, because what we need is partners,” said Roger Gress, the Park District executive director. “This one is really a winner.”

The new facility has 18 cameras that will show the curling action on flat-screen TVs in the lower entrance level and the upper-level club room.

The facility has 120 men’s lockers and 60 women’s in the locker rooms that are on the ground floor.

The club has all new stones (96) that came from Scotland, Young said. The granite was harvested off the island of Ailsa Craig.

“It’s a special type of granite,” Young said.

The new facility has six lanes, two more than the old building. The new club room on the second level is 6,000 square feet, and overlooks the ice. That makes it an optimal spot to watch curling. The club room also has a fireplace and a dance floor area.

“We are hoping we are going to have the best ice and the best facility in the upper Midwest,” Scheel said.

The club plans to have an official grand opening for the facility in December.

Young said the club had 300 members last year and expects that to grow to around 400 or more this year. The new facility and it being an Olympic year for curling should help attract new members.

“I’ve been in the club for 10 years and the whole time I’ve been there, they have been talking about a new facility,” Young said.

“You walk in and it’s just impressive.”

If you go

What: U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Curling

When: Today through Nov. 17

Where: Scheels Arena, Fargo

Info: For ticket information email dmehus@scheelsarena.com. Single-day tickets are $15 for adults and $9 for youth (12 and under). Gold and VIP ticket packages are available upon request.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Eric Peterson at (701) 241-5513.

Peterson’s blog can be found at peterson.areavoices.com