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Published February 08, 2013, 10:51 AM

Choice Health & Fitness Adding Tennis Courts, Spray Park

With the inside of Choice Health & Fitness busier than the most optimistic of expectations, improvements will be added on the facility’s grounds this year.

By: Ryan Bakken, Grand Forks Herald

With the inside of Choice Health & Fitness busier than the most optimistic of expectations, improvements will be added on the facility’s grounds this year.

Plans call for a spray park and six tennis courts to be built outside the walls of Choice, which has accumulated triple the membership of its predecessor, Center Court Fitness.

At the end of January, Choice had 8,235 members. Combined with the 4,000 members of the Altru Family Y, its dual-membership partner, the facilities have 20 percent of the Grand Forks-East Grand Forks population as members. That’s more than the anticipated total by the end of 2015.

The grounds may become just as busy. A $200,000 spray park, similar to the ones located at University and Elks parks, is expected to be completed this summer. The money will come from the park district’s sale of donated land.

Spray parks are popular for ages 8-and-under. There is no charge for the zero-depth facilities. The University Park spray park attracts approximately 10,000 children a summer, said Bill Palmiscno, superintendent of parks and recreation.

Also scheduled to be built on the 42-acre Choice property this year are six outdoor tennis courts. The courts will be located outside the back door of the six-court complex inside the facility. Approximately $120,000 has been raised for that project, according to Palmiscno.

The other outdoors improvement in the plans is an eight-court complex for sand volleyball. Palmiscno said the work probably won’t be done this year, keeping Bringewatt Park as the home for sand volleyball leagues.

A Choice Health & Fitness membership is not required to use the spray park, tennis courts or volleyball pits. They’re all free to the public.

A two-rink hockey arena also is in the plans to be built just south of Choice. A fundraising effort is ongoing for the arena, which would cost $8-9 million.

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