West Fargo Park District's Rustad Center has doubled in size just three years after opening, both in facility size and programming.
In spring 2018, the park district approved a $7.68 million, 55,095-square-foot expansion for the center at 601 26th Ave. E. to the southwestern side of the building.
Park District Executive Director Barb Erbstoesser said overall, construction went very well, despite a wind storm earlier this year that caused some damage. All that is left is some outside tree planting and landscaping.
The expansion created a second gymnasium with a basketball and volleyball court, pickleball courts, a 35-by-70 yard indoor turf field and batting cages and it expanded the track and added two new classrooms and a dedicated arts and crafts room.
A new indoor playground was also added to the space and opened in June.
A grand opening and ribbon cutting for the second phase project is planned from 3:30-6 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 15.
As part of the grand opening, visitors can take part in the Rustad Rec Challenge. Attendees will visit stations highlighting activities they can do at Rustad while touring the facility. Those who complete a challenge form visiting the stations can turn it in for a chance to win a year’s worth of free admission to the playground, open gyms and pickleball sessions. Door prizes will be given away and a free Sync backpack will be handed out to all who attend while supplies last.
The Rustad Center opened as a 44,000-square-foot facility in August 2016. It houses the relocated park district administrative office, includes two basketball courts, four volleyball courts, a one-tenth mile track, pickleball courts, a youth gym, a lobby for gatherings, outdoor patio space, spaces for meetings and events, concessions, retractable bleachers and bathrooms with showers.
Now that the expansion is complete, the facility is a total of 99,707 square feet and cost a total of about $17 million.
Business Manager Justin Germundson said the expansion was paid for without raising the district levy as older bonds the district has passed and paid off, allowing the district to use current bond funds for the project.
Katie Ettish, event and communications specialist for the park district, said now that phase two is done, more programming can be added at the Rustad Center, such as adult basketball and volleyball leagues, senior-specific programs and other events.
"Our programming is continuing to soar," Erbstoesser said. "Rustad was built as a space for the park district to grow its programming and we are pleased with the public response."
Erbstoesser said the most popular programs at Rustad are currently pickleball, the senior SAIL fitness program, and the walking track use.
The expansion's new "creative space will allow for additional programs.
"The park district has offered arts and craft programming to individuals of all ages for many years, but by having it's own studio space, residents can now take art classes in whole new direction," she said. "We are really anxious to see the new heights this programming will escalate to."
The use of the track will remain free and available to the public during business hours.
A user fee of $3.25 per visit is charged for open gyms, pickleball sessions and the indoor playground.
Scholarships may be available for those who qualify for assistance.. Areas of the facility will be available to the public to rent for reunions, family gatherings, meetings, birthday parties and more.