With the six-decade old AMF Maple Lanes now closed—its last day was Sunday—Fridley High School is left scrambling for programming alternatives to the neighborhood bowling alley just blocks from its front door.
The alley was used by the school for its adapted bowling team, for students with cognitive or physical impairments, as well as for some physical education classes.
Dan Roff, the school’s athletic director, called the closure “unfortunate” and said that he had no plans yet on how or whether to continue the adapted bowling team.
“The proximity made it accessible to a lot of kids who otherwise maybe wouldn’t have gotten the opportunity to experience bowling,” he said.
Principal Renee Van Gorp said she was somewhat surprised at the bowling alley’s closure.
“It’s been a long-standing icon in the community,” she said. “It’s always a shame when a local business goes out of business, closes its doors.”
Van Gorp said she didn’t know of a concrete plan in place for how the closure would affect the physical education department’s curriculum.
“There’s obviously benchmarks and standards, and we’re going to find those benchmarks and standards and do a different unit, I’m sure,” she said.
Growing up at AMF Maple Lanes
Many residents are sorry to see Maple Lanes go.
Michelle-Ronnie Kretzmann remembers getting a job at the bowling alley where her older sister worked when she was just 16.
“Some of my favorite memories were hanging out me, my sister and my mom there,” she said. “My mom has since passed away and some of my happiest times were us three spending time together at Maple. She would play her "crackbox" while my sister bartended, we would bowl, I worked in the kitchen, and I will dearly miss Maple Lanes.”