Williston Recreation Center Progress - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Williston Recreation Center Progress

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Williston residents SAVED on property taxes by building a new community center.

Williston Parks and Recreation suspended the park district's portion of property taxes in 2011 in exchange for a passed vote for a one-cent sales tax.

That sales tax was used to build a top recreation facility in the region and as Jennifer Thorgramson tells us, the effort is about to pay off.

What is there to do in a North Dakota winter?

For the growing population in Williston, the answer is about to get easier.

(Darren Krueger, Williston Parks & Rec Executive Director) "It doesn't matter where I go, groceries, gas, what do I get asked about? The rec center. So for me and someone's career like mine, it doesn't get much better than this."

The Williston Area Recreation Center broke ground in the fall of 2012 and Williston Parks and Recreation will be moving in next spring.

The Olympic sized pool is only the beginning.

(Darren Krueger, Williston Parks & Rec Executive Director) "The waterpark area is about 35,000 square feet. On top of that we have a 200 meter track, four basketball courts, a mondo-turf field for indoor turf stuff, tennis courts, indoor playground, child sitting, racquetball court, golf simulator, batting cages. It's an exciting building."

254,000 square feet in all.

Krueger says they're coming in under budget on the 76 million dollar figure.

(Darren Krueger, Williston Parks & Rec Executive Director) "The people of Williston voted in November of 2011 to pass a one cent sales tax and with that the park district suspended our property taxes. We gave back money to the public to help build this building."

Fifty percent of the one cent goes to fund the project.

The other fifty percent is being used to run the park district.

In the past two and a half years, the park district has done just over four million dollars of projects throughout the current park system.

(Darren Krueger, Williston Parks & Rec Executive Director) "I always joke that I had hair when I started this, so apparently I'm having fun."

(Eric Peterson, WSC Athletic Director) "The rec center will help out a ton with recruiting. Our athletes will be able to find jobs on campus a lot easier because they'll be hiring numerous positions over there and just over all, anyone interested in athletics will have an interest in some type of physical activity over there whether it's swimming, basketball, you name it. It will only help recruiting, not just athletics but for our school."

Williston State College provided the land on the north east corner of the campus.

The college and park board will share snow removal duties and other utilities and the students will have access to the facility.

(Darren Krueger, Williston Parks & Rec Executive Director) "The partnership with the college, without it, it doesn't happen. That's what's exciting for us. How we've been able to work together to make our community better."

Now the only question will be, which part of the Williston Area Recreation Center to hit first.

In Williston, Jennifer Thorgramson, KX News.

For a full video rendering of the project, visit www.WillistonParks.com.

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