By Reg Chapman

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Planning is underway to build a world-class training complex in north Minneapolis.

(credit: V3)

The goal of the project is to create more opportunities for young people and promote healthy lifestyles for residents.

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The proposed complex will feature a 200-meter track, a training and conditioning space, and a 50-meter, Olympic-size pool.

“Yes, there are athletes being underserved, but not just athletes, the community as a whole,” said Erika Binger, the founder of V3 sports, which currently serves northside schools. “We recognize the necessity to bring a space here for people to be able to train and be healthy.”

Binger wants to turn an empty building at the corner of Plymouth and Lyndale avenues into a world class gym. Retail, community meeting and banquet space will accompany the only public swimming pool on the northside.

The V3 gym will also use northside residents — architects, contractors and builders — to make the dream a reality.

“V3 has taught me a type of discipline,” said Alana Smith, a 16-year-old student at North High School.

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She and 17-year-old Odell Wilson, a fellow North student, are both stand-out athletes. Smith is a swimmer and on the basketball team, and Wilson is a state champion in both basketball and football.

Both got their start with V3 sports.

“If you have someone who can teach you the right way how to play a sport instead of having to pick it up in high school, you would most likely be able to choose that as a path in life,” Smith said.

Both Smith and Wilson are A students, and they believe their involvement in V3 Sports prepared them to be successful.

V3 has an aggressive schedule to turn the space at Plymouth and Lyndale into a state-of-the-art facility.

The group hopes to raise $40 million and is looking for the community to help.

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If you would like to help, you can donate here.

Reg Chapman