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The Bismarck Tribune
LEANN ECKROTH Bismarck Tribune

A $12.3 million recreation center called Family Wellness will open in southeast Mandan in the spring of 2016 through a partnership between the Missouri Valley YMCA and Sanford Health.

The announcement was made at a Monday news conference at the site. Ground will be broken next spring for the 41,000-square-foot facility south of the Raging Rivers Water Park, said Bill Bauman, director of the YMCA.

It will be built where the former Raging Rivers miniature golf course once operated. About 150 parking spots will be added as part of the plans, Bauman said.

Bauman said the facility will feature a large gymnasium, fitness studios, a suspended indoor walking track and wellness center with workout equipment. Bauman said it will be able to serve up to 4,000 members and day care will be available for 50 families, he added.

A private fundraising campaign has raised about $800,000 toward its $2 million goal, he said.

The Mandan Park Board will lease the land to Family Wellness. The park district purchased the land for $1.7 million through a loan and $1.5 million of Mandan Visitors Fund money to repay it. The rest of the loan will be paid through general fund property tax funds.


Jason Arenz, president of the Mandan Park Board, said the facility will be great for the city of Mandan's health and development. He said the negotiation process for the project has taken a lot of patience, but he is happy with the outcome.

"This has been six years in the making," Arenz said.

He credited Cole Higlin, parks and recreation director, and Fred Fridley, Sanford public affairs director, for continuing discussions about the facility. He also thanked the Mandan City Commission for approving Visitors Fund money toward the land buy.

Dr. Craig Lambrecht, president/CEO of Sanford Health, said the Mandan Family Wellness will be unique to other wellness facilities in that members will be able to use either the YMCA facility in Bismarck or the new Mandan facility interchangeably no matter where they live. Lambrecht said the facility fits into Sanford Health's mission of preventive health measures.

"This will help improve the quality of life and health for those of middle age, the elderly and kids," he said.

He said the facility will be used by both Bismarck and Mandan residents.

Lambrecht called the future recreation center "a commitment to our families, employees, our citizens and to the future of Bismarck-Mandan."

Sanford Health and the YMCA also run Family Wellness Partnerships in Sioux Falls, S.D., and Fargo.

For more information, visit

(Reach LeAnn Eckroth at 701-250-8264 or


August 12, 2014




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