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What's up with the Vikings Activity Center in Worth County
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What's up with the Vikings Activity Center in Worth County

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Vikings Activity Center

For more than two years now, there have been plans to construct a new multi-million dollar activities center in Northwood that would be for the Northwood-Kensett School District as well as the broader community. Along with plans for full-sized basketball/volleyball courts and hitting areas for baseball, the "Vikings Activity Center" would feature office space area for rental that ideally would offset costs. 

The plan as late as August 2019 was to begin construction on the project in Summer 2020 but like so much else at the local, state and national level, that timeline's been disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Even still, what with a pandemic and all, there's been movement on the project.

According to Bradley Christianson, who helps run the Vikings Activity Center Facebook page (which is a public face for the project's fundraising committee) said that even though certain fundraisers and the groundbreaking itself has been disrupted the committee has been able to submit needed grants to state boards. 

"We did submit a grant application to the Enhance Iowa board last week which we anticipate will be the largest source of our fundraising efforts," Christianson said. 

That Enhance Iowa Grant, which assist projects "that provide recreational, cultural, entertainment and educational attractions," is needed by the financing committee to reach its fundraising goal of $1.4 million (the school itself has committed $4 million to the project). However the state legislature still needs to fund the program for the coming fiscal year for grants to go out to applicants in a timely manner. 

Recent action on the project also happened at the county level.

This past week, the Worth County Board of Supervisors moved to pledge $5,000 toward the project as a match for Community Attraction and Tourism funds. 

The resolution, approved by board members Ken Abrams, Mark Smeby and AJ Stone, stated that "Worth County fully supports cultural and educational activities for all ages" and that the construction of such will "allow residents of the county to experience new cultural and educational activities and programming, and provide meeting space for residents of the county and surrounding area." 

As for when a groundbreaking might now happen, Christianson said the project is tentatively planning to break ground next spring. But that could always be adjusted.

"The COVID-19 pandemic may have something to say about that by the time we get there."

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Reach Reporter Jared McNett at 641-421-0527. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram at @TwoHeadedBoy98. 

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