BOISE, Idaho — The J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Family Foundation bought nearly seven acres from a private landowner in eastern Boise so they can build a new 50,000 square feet facility next to the Boise River and Marianne Williams Park.
The Idaho Outdoor Fieldhouse will be the new home to veterans and adaptive athletes, it will feature an aquatic center, a multi-purpose gym, a fitness area, a large gathering area, short-term housing and a hyperbaric oxygen therapy wellness center.
"The idea, the dream was created by us working with two amazing organizations Mission 43 and the Challenged Athletes Foundation," said Roger Quarles of the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Family Foundation. "
The plan is to break ground this fall on the new headquarters that will be built specifically for these organizations.
“It’s a campus that is going to wrap its arms around our athletes and their families," said Jenn Skeesick of the Idaho Challenged Athletes Foundation. "It is being built intentionally for people with physical limitations so it is safe for them so people can focus on the sport versus just trying to get in the building which is the everyday challenge our folks with physical limitations face."
It has been an amazing year for Idaho CAF as Teddy got the first-ever GRIT wheelchair built for a child and this weekend the paracycling national championships happen in Boise.
“Honestly the biggest challenge that we have is meeting people where they are in this journey," said Skeesick. "Whether they are newly injured or elite athletes this building is going to serve people across that spectrum so beautifully."
Mission 43 has a goal of helping post 9/11 veterans succeed through education, employment and engagement and several veterans are a part of both of these organizations.
"The synergy between those two groups they support one another, they challenge each other and help each other grow," said Quarles. "It strengthens our community."
Boise owes several of its best outdoor amenities to the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Family Foundation as they funded Rhodes Skate Park, the whitewater park and the bike skills park.
This organization has also given out 189 grants to help adaptive athletes get the equipment they need, spearheaded Mission 43, and now it is time for the Idaho Outdoor Fieldhouse.
“Our founders Joe and Kathryn Albertsons love this state, they love the outdoors and they love the people that live in this state," said Quarles. " If you are asking what this means to us today, it is incredible, I can’t think of a better purpose than what we are doing right now with Idaho CAF and Mission 43."
One child told me she is most excited about the pool and the obstacle course above it and this new facility provides another example of innovation in Idaho.
"There is nothing like it, we have tried to find it," said Skeesick.