DULTUH, MN—Earlier this week, the University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD) broke ground on a $13 million Sports and Health Center addition to benefit the school’s 10,000 students and to draw in more recruits.

The state gave a reported $8.7 million, backed by $4.3 million from the university to build and equip a two-level addition to the current UMD Sports and Health Center. The funds will help the university to better meet the needs of the Recreational Sports Outdoor Program and Intercollegiate Athletics. The facility will include fitness and conditioning space, multi-purpose recreational space and office space for the Recreational Sports Outdoor Program. More than 90 percent of the school’s students participate in the program, and more than 430 students are involved in varsity athletics.

The need for the new facility originated with a petition signed by students who were dissatisfied with the problem of access to the recreation programs and facilities. In April 2002, students voted to fund one-third of the project cost through student fees. Bids have been let and are due May 17. Construction on the addition will begin in mid-June with completion slated for October 2006.