Multi-million dollar development project set to break ground - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Multi-million dollar development project set to break ground


The city of Wausau will soon be home to the largest curling facility in the nation.

"It's a sport you just fall in love with."

Mike Maher has been Wausau East curling coach for nearly two decades. And in that time, he's seen the sport grow.

"When I started coaching I had 14 kids, now this last season I had 73," Maher explained.

But, he says they just don't have the space to keep up.

"There were times this season that a student would come off the ice and because of constraints I'd ask them how many stones did you throw and they would say two, or three."

But now, all that changes. A world class curling facility that's been in the planning stages for months is ready to break ground.

"We'd outgrown the size of the facility at Marathon Park and we needed a modern, energy efficient facility," Wausau Curling leader Cal Tillisch said.

Tillisch says through community donations they raised 3 million dollars to fund the project. And their vision to turn blighted land into a state of the art curling center is now a reality. 

"We've had tremendous support from the community, from past curlers, from foundations, from civic leaders who really see that his facility is truly a gem in the city of Wausau," Tillisch explains.

The new curling center will have 8 sheets of ice, fully equipped with locker rooms, a viewing area and a concession stand. Leaders say all that will make it the largest curling facility in the nation.

"It's for everyone from ages 9 to 90," Tillisch said.

And Wausau city leaders agree. The city approved spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on the center's infrastructure in hopes it would be an economic boost to the local economy. 

"People will be staying in our hotels, eating at our restaurants, they are going to be using the entertainment that we provide here in the area," Community Development Director Ann Werth said.

The project is scheduled to be complete by fall of 2012. Just in time for high school curling season.

"It's just phenomenal," Maher said.

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