FARGO, N.D. (AP) — The four-state Northern Lights Council of the Boy Scouts of America is planning a new center in Fargo.

The $4 million, 14,000-square-foot facility will include training space for the council’s 4,000 leadership volunteers, and a store offering Scouting uniforms and supplies.

Donors so far have pledged or given about $2.8 million toward the effort, Council President Doug Restemayer told The Forum. Organizers hope to start construction by May and finish it in about a year.

The project “tells the community Scouting is alive and well and doing great,” Restemayer said.

The Northern Lights Council covers all of North Dakota and parts of Montana, South Dakota and northwest Minnesota. It serves about 15,000 youths.

The organization’s current building in Fargo was built in 1966. At 3,300 square feet, it is only a bit larger than the main conference room planned for the new center.

“Now, we’ll have one central place where we can provide all of this training,” Restemayer said. “We’ll also open up our conference room to the community.”

Plans for the new facility also include an outdoor flag plaza and possibly an outdoor amphitheater and fire pit.

“This is the 100th anniversary of the Boy Scouts, and we just really believe, as we launch into our second century, that this facility will serve the needs of our Scouts and of the community,” said Mark Holtz, Scout Executive and CEO of the North Lights Council.

The new regional headquarters will be named the Jon L. Wanzek Center for Scouting, in honor of lead donors Jon and Lori Wanzek. Jon Wanzek is an Eagle Scout and a Fargo business leader.

(© Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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