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Trollwood 'fleshing out nicely'

Just imagine. Driving through welcoming evergreens into an enchanted forest of hardwood trees and wildlife, and just beyond are the wooden arches of the amphitheater. Music, voices, crowds and the wind can be heard in the grass seating and from t...

Graphic: Map

Just imagine.

Driving through welcoming evergreens into an enchanted forest of hardwood trees and wildlife, and just beyond are the wooden arches of the amphitheater. Music, voices, crowds and the wind can be heard in the grass seating and from the stage.

This will be the new Trollwood Performing Arts School, Vicki Chepulis, Trollwood's executive director, explained in the first public tour given at the site Wednesday.

"We just wanted to get you here to see that it's real," Chepulis said.

It was real. There were real tractors, cement blocks, sod residue, pipes, cords, wires and unpacked dirt scattered around the site.

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But there also was real excitement accruing among the tourists, who gave Chepulis ideas on where to get trees to contribute to the forests Trollwood would soon install.

"Remind me of that again later, I'll forget it now," Chepulis said.

Her left palm was already full of notes to herself.

The crowd of about 40 people included members from the Moorhead City Council, Fargo School District and the fundraising group FutureBuilders, the three cornerstones to making the new site construction possible, Chepulis said.

"This is my first time out here - I don't know about you, but I think it's ridiculously great," said Dan Glaser, a Trollwood alumnus.

Moorhead Mayor Mark Voxland said he wanders the 10 blocks from his house to check out the site often and is constantly amazed by the progress and aesthetics of the site, he said.

The project shows that the site is for the community - with a big "C," Voxland said.

"It's really fleshing out nicely," Voxland said. "It's really coming along the way we - or I - thought it would."

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Part of the fleshing includes planning how some facilities can be expanded to bring in more revenue since the upkeep of the new site will be about 20 percent more, Chepulis said.

Trollwood leaders hope to use space creatively by hosting more concerts, festivals and weddings, for example.

The total acreage of the site is about 97 acres - 66 land acres and 31 along the river.

"Even though it's not a city park, we want the public to regard it as a city park," Chepulis said.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Tirrell Thomas at (701) 235-7311

Graphic: Map

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