Grand Fort warming hut, snow fort takes shape in Town Square

Grand Forks Herald

Those walking Thursday in downtown Grand Forks might have heard a thundering rumble.

A front-loader mounded a warming hut made of brightly painted metal culverts with heaps of snow to create the Grand Fort in the Town Square. The new installation is expected to remain in place as long as the cold weather lasts, giving passersby a place to escape from the wind and cold, as well as local children the chance to frolic in the snow.

“I think it’s going to make (Town Square) very fun for the kids,” Opp Construction Vice President Sally Miskavige said as one of her company’s front-loaders poured snow over the project.

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The piece was principally funded by a roughly $4,500 Forkin it Over grant awarded in December to the Greater Grand Forks Young Professionals. The project was constructed at a cost of about $7,000 by Opp Construction.

The Downtown Development Association plans to welcome the piece to the Town Square—and skating at the nearby rink—with a 3 p.m. event Friday. A performance from the Northern Lights Figure Skating Club will kick off the event, which also includes free cider and cookies from Dakota Harvest Bakers.

Corey Mock, executive director of the Young Professionals, said he hopes the community enjoys the addition to the downtown ice rink.

“Anyone who wants to come down and see it, we want to see you here,” he said.

Miskavige said once the fort is removed from the Town Square—likely as snow begins to melt—it might enjoy a summer home along the Greenway, maybe with some extra features inside for fitness enthusiasts.