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Published December 06, 2011, 09:27 PM

Construction on Choice Health and Fitness Center Ahead of Schedule

GRAND FORKS (WDAZ-TV) - Construction is moving quickly at the new Choice Health and Fitness Center. It's on track to open sooner than expected. Construction on the $25 million complex is already three weeks ahead of schedule.

By: Stacie Van Dyke, WDAZ

GRAND FORKS (WDAZ-TV) - Construction is moving quickly at the new Choice Health and Fitness Center. It's on track to open sooner than expected.

Construction on the $25 million complex is already three weeks ahead of schedule.

The fitness center was scheduled to open in fall 2012 with October as a target month, but now it's set to open as early as August.

The fitness center on the east side of S. Washing St. between 40th Ave. and 47th Ave. Park officials say construction is ahead of schedule because of a mild fall.

"I don't know how many wet falls we've had in a row. At least two, if not three. That always makes it difficult for them, but we're lucky. This was our year I guess," Park District director John Staley said.

The building remains ahead of schedule despite some unexpected issues. Crews worried about an unstable foundation.

"The water table was pretty high. We had to add some gravel as a base under the parking lot in a couple spots," Staley said.

This summer, the center will be complete with a pool, basketball, tennis, and racquetball courts. It's funded in part by pledges from 11 major donors including Altru Health System and Choice Financial.

"All those that had committed to pay out and so forth have come through very well, so we're not seeing any shrinkage," Staley said.

You can visit gfparks.org/choice to track the progress of the fitness center. An online web cam updates every 60 seconds with a new image of the building.

The parks department plans to offer tours in the future. Park officials say that these will probably become regular in early January when the building gets heat put in.

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