DULUTH, Minn. (csssaints.com) – The College of St. Scholastica will invest in the city of Duluth’s Grand Avenue Nordic Center project; the school announced on Wednesday.
The College will contribute $20,000 to the Duluth XC Ski Club’s capital campaign toward the project. The center is a city project in conjunction with Spirit Mountain and DXC to bring state of the art snowmaking for cross country skiing to Duluth. It will be a 5+ kilometer trail development with 3.3km of snowmaking infrastructure and lights at the base of Spirit Mountain.
“This project really captures a modern development in cross country skiing infrastructure the likes of which the city hasn’t addressed since the 1980s,” said current St. Scholastica cross country coach Chad Salmela, an ex-board member of Duluth XC ski club. “In supporting the project, the college acknowledges its role as a community player and the role healthy lifestyles for a winter city plays in the lives of their students. It aligns the college with meaningful community initiatives of the city and its civic organizations. It’s a win-win.”
St. Scholastica has the only varsity college ski team in the area, and this project will make it the only Midwestern NCAA ski program with snowmaking near campus, and one of less than a handful nationally. The guarantee of snow for at this facility will change the game for skiing in the city, and subsequently be a huge draw for the college’s competitive ski team.
“World class athletes walk through these doors and now they will have a world class facility to call home,” said St. Scholastica Nordic Ski Coach Maria Stuber. “The GANC partnership between the City of Duluth, DXC and the college makes us feel like we are a major part of the community, something we cherish. Together, we are raising the bar for our sport with this facility and we have raised it higher than most DI and DII ski teams with bigger budgets. We are so proud of this project.”
Stuber said she plans on using the Grand Avenue Nordic Center as a centralized ski hub that will allow CSS student-athletes to interact with community members and youth skiers on a regular basis.
Project construction is slated to begin this winter with completion in fall 2018.