In two months Wausau will have the largest, and in some opinions the finest, curling center in the country.
The Wausau Curling Club is moving quickly to get the 41,000 square foot clubhouse open in time for the season. It's being built off of E. Kent Street, where a new road has been built.
"It's not just any curling center, this is the largest, finest curling facility in the United States," said Cal Tillisch, who chairs the facility's fundraising and building committee. "The only one with dedicated, full size, Olympic size sheets of ice," he said.
Tillisch, and others involved with curling, are hoping the facility will be grand enough to attract national events, even the Olympic trials.
"We've seen a lot of interest since the inclusion of curling in the Olympic games and we expect the participation to continue to grow," said Corey Sandquist, the president of the Wausau Curling Club.
The 20,000 square foot rink was made with the utmost quality in mind. Construction of the floor allows for tighter control of the ice's temperature. Tillisch and Sandquist say better ice means better curling.
"We've taken the best ideas of anything that anybody ever did to create the finest ice floor and mechanical facilities," said Tillisch.
The center is being built thanks to more than $3 million in privately raised funds. Wausau Curling Club members who pay an annual due of $360, will help keep the facility open.
More than 300 members will use the center for league play, as will 170 high school students. The center will also be available to outside groups who want to give curling a shot.
Sandquist says curling is a perfect sport for just about everybody, because you don't need any special athletic ability.
"It's something that can be taught in just a few minutes but takes a lifetime to master."
Construction began in the spring of 2012. The facility will be open in November, right in time for the winter curling season.
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