UPDATE: Altru Health System donates $10 million to build Grand Forks sports center – Grand Forks Herald

GRAND FORKS – Altru Health System has donated $10 million to support a gym near the Alerus Center in west Grand Forks.

The announcement was made Tuesday morning at City Hall, where Altru leaders, Mayor Brandon Bochenski and City Council Vice President Bret Weber, called it “an exciting day.”

“Grand Forks enjoys a national reputation for collaboration, a reputation that is built on strong partnerships between the city, school and park district, UND and, of course, Altru,” Weber said. “We should not underestimate or forget the great benefits of having a health care provider in Grand Forks in our community. Rather than focusing on profit, Altru focuses first and foremost on the health and well-being of Grand Forks and all of our community residents. of the mountains.”

Forkel said an important part of Altru’s mission is to restore community services that support the health and well-being of local residents.

“We are very excited about the opportunity to partner with so many community groups,” said Todd Forkel, CEO of Altru. “I really believe that (the) most important thing in health care is to invest in health and wellness.”

Forkel said the stadium fits well with Altru’s vision.

“… It promotes health, especially for our youth, and it also contributes to people’s happiness and economic development. Without this activity, important activities such as swimming lessons are at risk, and children in our community have little opportunity to stay busy,” he said.

As a result of his support, Altru will have the rights to name the venue, called Altru Sports Complex.

“We are very happy. We have a $500 million investment going up (as a new hospital project) and that’s continuing our investment in healthcare and wellness,” said Josh Deere, president of Altru.

The building is still under consideration and awaits the results of a citywide vote later this month. Tuesday, Nov. 14, Grand Forks residents will decide whether to allow the city to amend their building code to allow the 0.75% tax — which was originally intended to fund construction of the Alerus Center and is set to expire in 2029 — to be extended. As part of the vote, the public will also decide whether to allow tax revenue to be used to help build the stadium they want.

Voting will be held at the Alerus Center from 7am to 7pm

The facility is expected to cost between $95 million and $115 million, depending on the design chosen. The main features of the facility will be an indoor sandpit and a 50-meter swimming pool. There is also the possibility of a 300-meter track being included, as well as pickleball courts.

Carma Hanson was also among the speakers at Tuesday’s announcement. They coordinate Safe Kids Grand Forks with a popular water safety class taught to over 20,000 children.

“Without this facility, we would not have the space to hold this class,” Hanson said. “We ask for your help to continue this course.”

In Tuesday’s opening, Bochenski said he couldn’t praise Forkel and the Altru board enough for their “community partnership and vision for developing a safe, family-friendly town with many amenities.”

Bochenski considers Altru a “steady partner” in promoting and growing the community.

“Quality of life is a big factor when it comes to employee growth and retention,” Bochenski said. “The Altru Sports Complex will not only make life better for those of us who live in Grand Forks, but it will be a destination for sports and family events year-round.”

Voigt covers city government in Grand Forks and East Grand Forks.

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