By Nick Ferrado
A grass-roots effort to bring more gym space to Rosemount has been boosted by donations from Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins and former Vikings guard Tom Compton.
Last week, Compton and his wife, Tiffany, donated $75,000 toward a $2 million fundraising campaign to build Hope Fieldhouse, a nonprofit recreation center for Rosemount being pursued by area residents. The facility, which is estimated to cost $6 million, would include four hardwood courts under one roof for youth, adaptive, high school and college teams.
Compton’s donation comes a few weeks after Cousins and his wife, Julie, gave $50,000 to the effort through their foundation.
Cousins and Compton, a 2007 Rosemount High School graduate, became good friends when they played together in Washington from 2012-15. Compton, a starting guard for the Vikings last season, signed a one year, $1.6 million contract with the New York Jets in March.
As Rosemount has grown, so has the need for indoor and outdoor athletic space. The population of 24,000 is nearly double that of two decades ago and is expected to swell to 38,000 by 2040.
“I think this is something that Rosemount has needed for a long time,” Compton said in a video posted on the Hope Fieldhouse Facebook page.
The idea for Hope Fieldhouse was hatched in 2014 in a different location of Rosemount by youth coach Dan Corley, a Rosemount High School graduate who owns an I.T. consulting firm. The project failed to gain traction.
Now, Corley and his group seem to have the backing of residents, youth sports groups, businesses — and a couple NFL players.
“Hope Fieldhouse is trying to make sure everyone in our area has a place to play,” said Bill Halter, a spokesperson for the group. “That mission has gotten overwhelming support.”
Halter said the capital campaign, which kicked off in November 2017, has raised $1.6 million, enough to secure a bank loan, hire a builder and look to a groundbreaking.
“We still have $400,000 to raise, and as soon as that happens, construction begins,” he said.
Plans for Hope Fieldhouse, which were approved by the city’s planning commission last spring, show a two-level 42,000-square-foot facility on land next to Community of Hope Church at Biscayne Avenue and 145th Street. The center would have no affiliation with the church and would operate as a nonprofit.
Hope Fieldhouse will be the practice and game home for teams from the area, but memberships will be offered to residents to use the courts, walking track and fitness center.
“We expect 100,000 people will go through the doors annually,” Halter said.
With the donation, the fitness center will be named after Compton, Halter said.
“It will be special, but it’s more about just getting the place for the kids,” Compton said in the video. “That’s really all I care about at the end of the day. So I’m excited for that.”