Construction has begun on the new $12 million Maslowski Wellness and Research Center in Wadena, according to Kraus-Anderson Construction Co.

The 52,500-square-foot facility will feature a community center and a swimming pool, both of which were destroyed by the devastating category E4 twister that wiped out 20 city blocks of the north-central town in June 2010.

The wellness center will include a gymnasium, indoor swimming pool, therapy pool, fitness center, racquetball courts and community meeting spaces. The two-story facility was designed by Minneapolis-based Steve Miller Architects, and is expected to be completed in the fall of 2014.

The new wellness center replaces the Wadena Community Center and City Swimming Pool with a single structure that shares an adjacent site to the new Wadena-Deer Creek Middle/High School, which was also destroyed by the tornado. Kraus-Anderson rebuilt the school, which opened in September 2012 and houses 800 students in grades 5-12.

Janet Moore covers commercial real estate for the Star Tribune.

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