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Expanding recreation: Park Board given updates on projects, fundrasing goals for additions to recreation facilities

Press Photo by Bryan Horwath Dickinson Parks and Recreation Director James Kramer, left, talks to operations manager Scott Mack near where the new addition to the Dickinson Recreation Center will be.

Walkers and joggers using the trail around the West River Community Center encountered an interrupted path Monday, but the 400-foot stretch is expected to be re-paved by Tuesday evening.

As excavation work in progress for a multi-million dollar expansion project to the WRCC and the Dickinson Recreation Center underway -- and the center closed until Aug. 19 for annual maintenance work -- the Dickinson Park Board on Monday discussed the various projects being done in the area.

To date, more than $3 million has been pledged from private contributions for the expansion project -- which includes a new ice arena addition to the Rec Center, an outdoor pool and an expansion to the WRCC -- that has a projected price tag of $22.3 million.

"The bulk of the work that you're seeing now is excavation and utility work," Parks and Rec Director James Kramer said. "This is just the tip of the iceberg as far as what's going to happen. There's a lot of irrigation work being done around the entire building. We're not going to touch the trail coming in off Fairway, but there was a stretch by the electronic sign along State (Avenue). Starting (Tuesday), though, the entire loop will be back operational."

Kramer said the trail will move about 30 feet closer to State Ave. and will be out of the way of construction work being done in the area.

Kramer told the board that the outdoor playground that sits on the south side of the WRCC will eventually be moved to the opposite side of the complex.

"That's been a hot topic," Kramer said. "We are not going to move the playground off site. We're moving it from its current location and moving it directly north to the other side of the building to the very first soccer field, adjacent to the gravel parking lot. There are six (soccer) fields up there and we typically only use four of them. If we need to, we can also add another whole field in the future if we need to."

Kramer said the process to move the playground will take up to three weeks to complete. Kramer said the playground project is being contracted out to BC6 Builders of Dickinson.

Bryan Horwath
A Wisconsin native, Horwath has been covering news in the Oil Patch of North Dakota since 2012. Horwath currently serves as the senior agriculture and political reporter for The Dickinson Press and, despite the team's tendency to always let him down, remains a diehard Minnesota Vikings fan.
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