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Group breaks ground on new Standing Rocks facility

By Patrick Lynn

A new recreation center project is underway at Standing Rocks Park.

The Portage County Parks Department and the Friends of Standing Rocks held a groundbreaking ceremony for the new Behnke Olson Outdoor Recreation Center on April 24.

The 2,600-square-foot structure will house year-round silent sports enthusiasts including runners, mountain bikers, cross country skiers, disc golfers, and visitors to the dog park. An attached open-air pavilion will offer 24/7 access to bathrooms and water, as well as a spacious seating area.

The building will serve as the main trail access point for outdoor recreation, according to a news release from Stevens Point Area Convention & Visitors Bureau.

The project’s general contractor is Amherst-based Ability Builders.

The center is named after longtime SPASH cross country coaches Donn Behnke and Mike Olson, who between them have more than 80 years of coaching and running experience in Portage County. Both were “instrumental” in establishing the 5,000-meter running course at Standing Rocks Park, adjacent to the new facility, the release said.

The Friends of Standing Rocks Park Committee has raised about $80,000 for the new facility, just shy of the group’s $85,000 goal.

Donations can be mailed to Friends of Standing Rocks Park, c/o Community Foundation of Central Wisconsin, Inc., 1501 Clark St., Stevens Point, Wis., 54481.

Standing Rocks County Park is a 524-acre park located just seven miles east of Plover. For more information on the park, go to www.co.portage.wi.us/department/parks/standing-rocks-park.

Editor’s note: Metro Wire staff had to rely on a press release from the Stevens Point Area Convention & Visitors Bureau for this story, as the media was not invited to the ceremony.