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      Kroc Center tour

      A look at the worship center from the balcony. / Photo by: Chad Douglas

      The Salvation Army Ray and Joan Kroc Center will open in less than a year from now.

      After five long years, you can see the center taking shape.

      KHQA was lucky enough to get invited on a tour of the inside, where it's starting to take shape there too.

      Work has been ongoing at the Kroc Center since summer. By the end of the year, the building should be fully enclosed and work will shift mainly to the interior. Once it's done, the first thing you'll see is the Salvation Army's worship center.

      "It'll seat about 500 people. About 350 on the main floor and 150 in the mezzanine area," says Patty Douglas the Kroc Facilitator.

      Just down this hall begins what else the Kroc Center has to offer. At the end of the hall will be a rock climbing wall. As you walk down the hallway, you'll see community rooms that will be used for conferences, wedding receptions, and just about anything else. Then you land right in the gymnasium.

      "You can play basketball, you can do roller blading, play volleyball, just any number of things," says Douglas.

      Above the gym is an elevated running track, cardio rooms, and executive offices. Up another flight of stairs will be a free weight room.

      "We're just so excited about the way things are shaping up. It's been very different to see this go from paper to reality. And seeing how big it really is," says Douglas.

      Down in the basement is a whole other animal. This is where the aquatic center will be. It's more than just a pool. There will swimming lanes, a lazy river, and other water attractions. Work on the aquatic center will begin next week.

      "They'll start digging out the pool and do the pumps and plumbing. That will take four to five months," says Matt Kasparie, the Project Engineer for SM Wilson.

      Speaking of a time line, Matt Kasparie is the Project Engineer for the contractor, and he says the completion date is set for early August, provided no major set backs.

      Even if the building is done in early August, it will likely take at least 30 days before it opens.

      Salvation Army staff will take some time familiarizing themselves with the new building.

      Next year's Christmas campaign kickoff is already scheduled to be at the Kroc Center next fall.