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Bowling alley gets new life after 18 years

The Spare Time Family Center on Main Street closed in 2001.

Now 18 years later, Mitch Marcotte and his wife purchased the bowling alley in April. While his plans do not include returning it to a bowling alley, he has started the massive job of working on cleaning out the building after years of neglect.

When the previous owners closed the building, they left everything in the building. The bowling lanes, balls, pins, furniture, tables and chairs, kitchen appliances, dishes, tools and even canisters of fountain pop remain in the building.

Unfortunately, the building has suffered some damage to the roof and side walls so water has created some damage and mold growth throughout the building. Leaves built up along the south side of the building and eventually ate through the wall in some places.

“When it rained, water would go from the middle of the building. This building’s been wet for 18 years,” he said. “When I came in here, the humidity was 100 percent.”

He has a lot of work to do since the building has been vacant for 18 years. The inside of the bowling lane equipment has corroded and is no longer operational. Most of the walls and ceilings have two layers so demolishing is taking two times longer.

“I have 11,000 square feet times two to clean up. Most of the walls are that way,” he said.

Marcotte, who lives in Sioux Falls, came across the old bowling alley after visiting Lennox for the Fourth of July in 2018. He thought it would make a good building for his purposes of building beehives and other wood items. “I thought this building is huge and strange and I kind of like strange things. I eventually got ahold of them, made them an offer and they said yes,” he said.

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