Grand Forks Curling Club ready to rock with new facility
Autumn might be closing in, but the Grand Forks Curling Club is gearing up for a summer spiel to break in its new digs. The club's freshly constructed, two-story building is opening Friday with a little pomp and circumstance--or at least a 7:30 p.m.
Autumn might be closing in, but the Grand Forks Curling Club is gearing up for a summer spiel to break in its new digs.
The club's freshly constructed, two-story building is opening Friday with a little pomp and circumstance-or at least a 7:30 p.m. first rock ceremony accompanied by a short bagpipe performance, said club member Dan Lindgren.
"We're pretty happy," Lindgren said, describing the first rock as the curling equivalent to a ribbon cutting. "I'd say everyone is enjoying (the building) very much."
The sport of curling has Scottish roots-hence, bagpipes-but the club itself is as local as it comes. Members set plans in motion last summer to build a new facility in Grand Forks to replace their old one, a one-story building constructed in 1962 with little in the way of amenities.
Much of the work on the approximately $1.1 million clubhouse that now stands at 1124 Seventh Ave. S., near the intersection of DeMers Avenue and Washington Street, was completed by those within the club, which counts local builders among its members.
Visitors familiar with the old building will notice a few changes right off the bat. The new facility has an upstairs viewing area, expanded locker rooms and room enough to walk around the ice without touching the scrubbed surface.
The legacy of the former building hasn't been entirely left behind though. The flooring from the old sheets, the base on which the ice is laid, was kept over and installed in the new building for a new generation of players.
Lindgren says the interior of the clubhouse is mostly complete by this point. Some exterior brickwork is still being finished, he said, but the playing and spectating areas are now "very usable and very unique."
Both club members and non-curlers alike are invited to attend Friday's opening ceremonies, and the months of September and October will soon be marked with "learn to curl" sessions targeted at first-timer throwers curious to see the game in action.
Last year's construction at the new building delayed regular play, but Lindgren said this year's season is set to begin about Nov. 1.
"We had like half a season last year, so everyone is looking forward to the first full one," he said.
For more information, including schedules for "learn to curl" sessions, visit: " target="_blank">www.gfcurling.org