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To recognize Essentia Health investing $75,000 annually over the next 10 years in the City of West Fargo’s plaza at The Lights on Sheyenne 32, the West Fargo City Commission has approved an agreement to name the space Essentia Health Plaza. This investment will help the City of West Fargo provide events, programs and amenities for the public in the plaza.
“Essentia Health is excited to further partner with the community of West Fargo,” says Al Hurley, chief operating officer at Essentia Health. “Our mission is to make a healthy difference in people’s lives, and that goes beyond the walls of our healthcare facilities and into the communities we serve. We’re thrilled to support the growth and development of the city of West Fargo.”
“We are thankful for this partnership, which will allow the City and our event management contractor West Fargo Events continue to create a vibrant community space and engaging programming,” said Commission President Bernie Dardis.
The City of West Fargo’s Essentia Health Plaza is a 48,000 square foot community amenity that anchors The Lights on Sheyenne 32 development. Since its opening in the summer of 2020, it has held concerts, family fun nights, movie nights and theater performances. It is currently setup as an NHL-regulation size, outdoor refrigerated hockey rink that hosts open skating and hockey tournaments. When not programmed for events, the plaza serves as an outdoor space for anyone to visit.
To recognize the unique offerings of the area surrounding the intersection of 32nd Avenue W. and Sheyenne Street, the City of West Fargo designated it as an entertainment district in 2020 to support the overall vibrancy of the area. When completed, entertainment district will include the West Fargo Sports Arena, Essentia Health Plaza, a parking garage and multiple mixed-use buildings that provide commercial and residential space. Two of the buildings are now open, with a third scheduled to open and fourth expected to start construction this spring.
In 2019, the City of West Fargo hired West Fargo Events to provide event and facility management for the City of West Fargo’s plazas. A nonprofit organization, West Fargo Event’s goal is to provide social community opportunities through a variety of community events held at their partners’ spaces. They also manage the West Fargo Sports Arena, owned by West Fargo Public Schools.