Michigan Tech given grant money to begin trails project

Infrastructure marked as first phase of building a new lodge.
Published: Oct. 15, 2020 at 10:27 PM EDT
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HOUGHTON, Mich. (WLUC) - People gathered at the Michigan Tech Recreational Trails on Thursday afternoon for the initiation of a new project.

The Great Lakes Sports Commission announced a donation of $150,000 to start the building of a brand new lodge, a multi-functional community lodge that would be constructed on the Tech Trails.

MTU’s Athletics Director, Suzanne Sanregret, said this announcement was good timing since the trail used for sports like skiing and cross country had been missing a piece.

“We have such a growing trail system at Michigan Tech,” Sanregret said. "We realize we have state-of-the-art trails, grooming, and a great race environment. What we are lacking is the infrastructure related to locker rooms, restrooms, and a lodge component.”

One of those on hand for the presentation was State Representative Greg Markkanen. As a graduate of MTU, he says this new building will be helpful to the college community.

“These ski trails are used 24/7 throughout the winter,” Markkanen stated. "And so this upgrade will really benefit everybody and be a huge benefit for the university.”

It is uncertain when the process will begin to install the infrastructure for this project. However, the Chair of the Great Lakes Sports Commission, Doug Luciani, says the university is welcome to ask for more funding once it is time to enter the next phase of production.

“As they go through the different phases,” Luciani explained, "they can come back to the sports commission for additional grant applications.”

Sanregret also mentions that this new complex will make the students and others around the community feel at home while on the trails.

“Just having a facility where they can congregate, really celebrate the trailhead, and the events that happen here,” she said. "A place to put our adventure programs, a place to get your rentals, and different components like that would really be a great customer service component to all the users of the system.”

It is unclear what phase two of the project will entail. That part will be announced as soon as the water and sewage lines are put into place.

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