BOTTINEAU - Volunteers working on a new ski lodge at Bottineau Winter Park hope to have the facilities operating yet this winter, even if construction isn't fully completed until summer.
Cedric Jacobson, a volunteer leader and former board member at the ski park, said workers are close to finishing the hanging of drywall in Annie's House.
"This project is huge. We had hoped to be in it, but that probably won't happen for five or six weeks yet," he said. "It won't be done in five to six weeks, but we think it will be in a condition where we will be able to operate out of it."
A rendering of Annie’s House gives an idea of what the new ski lodge at Bottineau Winter Park will look like, although there have been a few design changes since the artist’s sketch.
At that point, the rest rooms, concessions, kitchen and rental shop should be functioning. Some of the work on siding and a ground-source heating system will have to wait for warmer weather.
"It's a volunteer project so we sure appreciate all the volunteers that come up and help," Jacobson said.
Anyone interested in volunteering can call the winter park at 263-4556. Carpenters and others with construction skills are sought after, but there's also work to do in cleaning, painting and other jobs that don't necessarily require construction experience.
The current need is for volunteers skilled in taping Sheetrock, Jacobson said.
The project has come a long way since September when the New York Says Thank You Foundation brought in volunteers from around the country. The mission of the foundation is to send volunteers from New York City each year on the Sept. 11 anniversary of the terrorist attack on he World Trade Center towers to help rebuild communities affected by disaster. Communities receiving assistance pay it forward by helping on future projects.
The foundation partnered with the winter park to build the ski lodge in memory of Ann Nelson, a Stanley native who died while at her job with a financial company in the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001. Nelson, an avid skier with a heart for the less fortunate, had hoped to build a home in North Dakota someday. The home being built in her memory, known as Annie's House, is a 12,000-square foot lodge designed to accommodate the needs of skiers with physical and cognitive disabilities as well as the general population in year-round activities.
While the facility remains under construction, the park continues to operate out of its existing, smaller lodge.
Park manager Brad Knudson said the recent cold spell has deterred some visitors. However, he added that the hardier folks who have been coming out have enjoyed good skiing conditions and temperatures that have been milder than forecasted.