GF Park District Approves New Ice Arena - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

GF Park District Approves New Ice Arena

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On the July 2, 2013 board meeting, the Grand Forks Park Board of Commissioners voted to officially approve to begin construction of the new ICON Sports Center.  After 2 years of partner building, private and family fundraising, and conducting comprehensive economic study, the Legends and Heroes Campaign Executive Cabinet has given the Board substantial research and funding to start construction. 

The new ice arena will be located just south of Choice Health & Fitness on South Washington Street and 47th Avenue. The 44 acre plot of land between 40th and 47th near South Washington Street is owned by the Grand Forks Park District, a gift donated to them by the Crary and Sproule families, in 2010, during the IMAGINE Campaign.

The new indoor ice arena will eventually feature: 2 official USA Hockey sanctioned size rinks; 10 team locker rooms; 500 spectator seats per rink; lower & upper level concessions areas; a Club and Community Room for special activities; sound barriers between each rink; viewing deck above each seating areas; and a central location to attract Canadians and Minnesotans.

The arena will be used year-around by the new Grand Forks Youth Hockey Association for practices, games and tournaments. With the new indoor facility, the Border Blades Figure Skating Club will also host figure and free skating, moves in the field, dance and synchronized team events on a regional and national level.  Rental options will be available for area high school teams and outside groups who wish to host broomball tournaments.

With naming rights donations from businesses around town, donations from private citizens and organizations, a large gift from the Grand Forks Blue Line Club, a challenge match grant from the Engelstad Family Foundation and the naming sponsorship of ICON Architectural Group, the Campaign has secured all but approximately $900,000 needed for the ICON Sports Center. 

The construction cost is projected to total approximately $8,500,000. The Park Board has chosen to move forward at this time due to the increasing construction costs.  If construction is delayed, the steel bid package will expire, adding roughly $500,000 of construction costs onto the current design.

"We have a responsibility to the people of Grand Forks to be fiscally responsible in every move we make.  Although we still have $775,000 available in naming opportunities for the new ice arena, we will not build beyond the funds raised for this project," commented Grand Forks Park District Director Bill Palmiscno. "Although we are right where we need to be financially to begin construction, we will continue to fundraise throughout the construction phase of the project in order to meet the accumulative needs to complete the new facility to its full potential."

The intent of the Campaign was to build a stronger Grand Forks, generate $4 Million in Annual Economic Impact and become the hockey destination of the Midwest. This will now be obtainable through the building of the new ice arena," stated Palmiscno.

Details on the official community groundbreaking event will be made public when the date is solidified, a projected mid- August timeframe. The event will take place at the ICON Sports Center site.  

A recent construction timeline indicates ICON Sports Center could open for use as early as Fall 2014.

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