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Published January 11, 2012, 09:20 PM

Rep. Berg Weighs in on Healthcare, Tours Choice Health & Fitness

GRAND FORKS, ND (WDAZ-TV) - At roughly 100,000 square feet, Choice Health & Fitness will be the largest facility in the region.

GRAND FORKS, ND (WDAZ-TV) - At roughly 100,000 square feet, Choice Health & Fitness will be the largest facility in the region.

The new health club is under construction in Grand Forks and was one of the stops on Congressman Rick Berg's Tour around Grand Forks on Wednesday.

Berg says he's impressed today by the progress of Choice Health and Fitness and what it offers.

He says centers like the one he visited are key to the health care future in our country.

"Well this is an exciting development here that really combines health with fitness and as our country's facing a huge healthcare dilemma, this is part of the solution here in Grand Forks and the country," Berg said.

Berg opposed the health care plan passed last year, saying it puts the government between the doctor and the patient. But, he says buildings like this one are the right ay to attack health issues.

"This is at the opposite end of the spectrum and really the way we need to go," said Berg.

"Congressman Berg is very interested in the health of our community and recognizes that's linked to the economic well-being of our state and our country so he's got a big interest in a project like this," said Altru CEO, Dave Molmen.

Berg says he's taking this idea with him back to Washington so he can spread the word to other state representatives on how a club like Choice that combines health and fitness impacts not only a city but an entire region.

"Certainly there's fitness clubs and there's health care and this is really bringing those two together. I haven't seen this model before physically in the same place and also the private partnership that's been created, the people that have invested in this because they know this is good for Grand Forks and the region long term," said Berg.

Altru and its partners in the project say the club could potentially draw new folks to the area.

"Great thing for the people of Grand Forks because it's going to give them the opportunity to live a healthier lifestyle, to be fit, to have a place to go in the wintertime, and to have recreation," said Molmen.

Besides your general fitness machines, Choice will have tennis, volleyball, even wallyball courts, classes, a café and a few other amenities.

Choice Health & Fitness is ahead of schedule to open. The mild winter has helped with construction. They're hoping to open mid-August or early-September.