The following article by Steve Brandt was published in the August 7, 2015 issue of the Star Tribune.
Plan for Silent Sports Center at Wirth Wins Preliminary Concept OK
The rough concept for a new silent sports center at Wirth Park has won preliminary approval from Minneapolis park commissioners after extended negotiations involving golf and cross-country ski interests, but details of how they’ll share conflicting areas at the 759-acre park are still being worked out.
The schematic design for the new building and environs won committee approval from commissioners last week after more of a year of discussions that reacted to earlier frustration expressed by golfers: http://www.startribune.com/whither-minneapolis-wirth-park/189750241/ Those talks left 18-hole course representatives relatively satisfied, although par 3 golfers are still unhappy over changes affecting their first hole, where conflicts with an artificial snow ski course remain at issue.
The building at the heart of a revamp intended to provide a new hub for ski and off-road bike use of the park will cost an estimated $3.45 million, up from an earlier $3 million. The Loppet Foundation, which earlier committed to raise the $3 million, had raised 2.75 million by a June 30 deadline. It plans to raise the additional money. Its 2013 agreement with the park system allows an additional six-month fundraising extension. Commissioners want more performance and operating details before approving an amended agreement.
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