Newspaper Archive of
Walsh County Press
Park River , North Dakota
June 10, 2015     Walsh County Press
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June 10, 2015

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m / SINGLE COPY $I.00 VOL. 132 ISSUE 49 PARK RIVER, NORTH DAKOTA WEDNESDAY, JUNE 10, 2015 By Allison Olimb of The Press PARK RIVER, N.D. -- Construction has begun on the addition and renovations to Park River Area Schools. This fall, students and faculty have some big changes to look for- ward to. The project, which was vot- ed on by the district last No- vember easily cleared the polls with 74 percent voter approval. Since that time the PRA school board has been working hard to maintain the vision that they presented to the district all those months ago. One of the biggest chal- lenges has been the budget. PRA Superintendent Kirk Ham said that when they opened the biding process on April 23, the bids came in $3.1 million over the amount that the vote bonded for. One of the biggest expen- ditures was the decision to add another floor, o,the mentary school gym when turning it into usable classroom space. "The board had to decide what to do next," Ham said. "The options were: Do we re- bid it? Do we change the proj- ect and delay a year? Or do we find a way to make it work?" They discussed the options and the board decided that re- bids would have no guarantee and only delay progress. "I give the board a lot of credit," he said. "We talked a lot about maintaining that vi- sion and keeping the scope of the project of what we told people it was going to be." One of the concerns voiced by the public back before the vote was that this could hap- pen, as it did in the 2000 build, and the end result could suffer. In 2000, Ham said, "the scope of the project got cut." So, the board chose not to do that. PRA Project Cont page 5 Photos: Larry Bid .q0ove: As students were get ready to pack up their bags one last time for the summer, the school was doing the same to make way for construction on the new addition and remodel to the elementary classrooms. Bottom Left: Karson Blake and other students carry out chairs from the elementary class- rooms. Boltom Right: Park Riv- er custodian Joel Dub hauls a book shelf out ofthe ele school to a waiting storage container. :: =: : 1 By Allison Olimb of The Press PARK RIVER, N.D. -- Park River Parks and Recreation unveiled the concep- tual drawings for a sports complex and event center two years ago. Now, they have gone back to the drawing board. On Wednesday, May 27, a community presentation was held at the Park River American Legion to reveal the new con- ceptual drawings that have been developed with help from additional community in- put. The new concept of a "community center" with the vision expanded beyond the initial hockey arena design and a re- imagined layout for the lot green space and baseball diamonds were presented. Park River Parks has been working in cooperation with Park River Hockey, Park River Figure Skating, Park River Baseball, Park River Centennial Trees, Park River Gymnastics, and the City of Park River as well as area businesses and business members to develop a plan for the city- owned lots located on the east end of town south of North Star Coop. The development plan for the so-called Green Acres Subdivision allows for the development of commercial businesses along Highway 17 at the north end of the development, industrial development at the south end of the allotted space, with the community complex in-between. All of the work up until this point has been in the planning stages and grant ap- plication phase. Construction is slated to begin this summer with the development of an RV park. The park is being built with the assistance of a $240,000 grant from the mittee to develop the needs of the commu- ND Outdoor Heritage Fund. Park Board nity. Members include: Jon Markusen, Jay President Kyle Halvorson said that the de- Thompson, Steve Rehovsky, Dan Stenvold, velopment of the RV park would help gen- Nic Beneda, Corri Bell, Bruce Heggen, erate revenue for Parks and Rec and allow Louise Dryburgh, Diana Hahn, Kirk Ham, the future development of the project to Veto Houser, and Kyle Halvorson. continue. Location options were discussed near This concept started 30 years ago as a Victory Free Lutheran Church, near the dream for a new hockey facility and ex- school, around the existing Walsh County panded about five years ago when the Fair building, at the old elementary loca- needs for a growing baseball program were tion, and near the Park River American becoming more obvious. Halvorson added Legion building, but Advisory Committee that the 50-year-old swimming pool also member Jon Markusen who presented on came under observation recently and "cen- the concept, said, "We came back to this lo- tralizing these components made sense." cation as the one to focus on." The board started by hiring a full-time The original conceptwas for three Cal director, Corri Bell, to manage the Various Ripken diamonds and one legion diamond components that make up parks program- The current plan calls for two Cal Rip- ming; as well as creating an advisory com- ken sized baseball diamonds, one Babe Ruth diamond and one Legion diamond. One aspect of the green space that has been developed in great detail is the ar- boretum. Joel Hylden has been designing the landscaping possibilities to highlight a variety of native species. He said that the design features 170 different kinds of trees, 125 different kinds of bushes and 700 dif- ferent kinds of flowers. The original design for the event center was a hockey arena to house the skating and hockey programs, a walking track, and a gym. The new concept adds a wellness center component with space for fitness machines and classes, and a racquetball court. The center is designed to be utilized Complex Cont page 6 ) = See page 2 A recap of state go acaon See page 8 "The first step toward getting somewhere to dec de that you are not going to stay where you are." Unknown Four complem Piano Guild at itions See page 3 Band of Brothers: Baseball See page 9