‘8 acres of drywall:’ Fargo Park District’s sports center taking shape in south Fargo

The metro area is just months away from seeing the doors open on the Fargo Park District's new sports center.

FARGO — The Sanford Sports Complex will include everything from hockey rinks, soccer fields and basketball courts, to walking tracks and art centers.

“(W)e’re anticipating having all-day tournaments here, all-weekend tournaments,” said Kali Mork, director for the new Fargo Park District’s sports center.

There are so many parts to the sports center that it is really divided into a small city.

“(T)his is our indoor turf,” Mork said as she showed WDAY News the location of the turf field. “(T)his is a full NCAA-size soccer turf, complete with the run-offs required for college soccer games.”

From turf for soccer, lacrosse, football and golf, to multiple basketball courts, Phase One is taking shape.

“So it’ll be eight hardwood courts, but have the ability to turn it into 15 volleyball courts as well,” Mork said.

Once Phase One opens next spring and Phase Two is complete in late 2024, there will also be two more sheets of ice in town, pickleball courts, an indoor playground, and a huge walking track.

“(I)t will be just over four laps to a mile. (…) There’ll be space for walking, there’ll be space for running. This area will be free,” Mork said.

It’s not all sports. The park district is putting an emphasis on activities for all including art and drama, along with new competitions that are on the rise in popularity.

“Horseshoes, or E-sports or drone racing can happen in our indoor turf,” Mork said.

The entire complex measures at 392,000 square feet. So far, 4,600 cubic yards of concrete have been used in its construction.

In Phase One alone, 8 acres of drywall were used for the complex and enough wiring to reach from Fargo to St. Cloud, Minnesota.

The total cost for the project is $126 million, which comes from a private and public partnership. The Fargo Park District Foundation says it has raised nearly $34 million in private donations, and over $11 million of in-kind gifts.

McGough Construction says most of the 60 contractors and subcontractors are from the metro area.

“So there’s a lot of people in here that are going to see (a) benefit from this facility who are working on it. So when you add that level of pride to that contractor, they put in an extra effort for you and they work harder towards making this a successful facility. So it’s been really fun to be a part of that group,” said Patrick Peltier, project manager for McGough Construction.