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Sanford, YMCA to build Family Wellness center for Bismarck-Mandan

Submitted rendering

MANDAN, N.D. – Sanford Bismarck and the Missouri Valley Family YMCA announced a partnership Monday to build a $12.3 million fitness center in Mandan to serve the two communities, similar to Sanford-YMCA facilities in Fargo and Sioux Falls, S.D.

Construction is expected to start next spring on the 41,000-square-foot Family Wellness facility, which will sit just south of the Raging Rivers Water Park owned by Mandan Parks & Recreation.

A miniature golf course and go-cart track that haven’t been used for several years will be bulldozed to make room for the new facility, which is slated to open in spring 2016.

Unlike the Family Wellness centers in Fargo and Sioux Falls, the Mandan facility will offer full reciprocity with the existing Missouri Valley Family YMCA in north Bismarck, said Bill Bauman, executive director and CEO of the Bismarck YMCA. He said it was important to form a network between the two facilities.

“This is breaking new ground,” he said.

At least $2 million of the Mandan facility’s cost will come from a public fundraising campaign that has already raised $800,000, officials said a press conference Monday morning.

The facility will feature fitness studios, a gymnasium, a wellness center with workout equipment, a suspended walking track and “much-needed” day care services, Bauman said, noting the YMCA had already received phone calls from parents wanting to be put on the waiting list before the project was publicly announced.

The plans currently don’t include a swimming pool, but that could change if additional donors step forward, he said.

Sanford Bismarck CEO Craig Lambrecht said he and Bauman started talking a couple of years ago about how to improve family wellness in Bismarck-Mandan, and the Sanford-YMCA concept in Fargo and Sioux Falls was “something we just latched onto.”

“This is something I know – I know – our communities will adore,” he said.

Mike Nowatzki

Mike Nowatzki reports for Forum News Service. He can be reached at (701) 255-5607.