Menomonie ice arena expansion planned for spring construction - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Menomonie ice arena expansion planned for spring construction

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Menomonie (WQOW) - You can't think hockey without ice but for one arena, the lack of ice is exactly what it needs. Once the ground thaws, construction on improvements and an addition to the Menomonie Ice Arena can begin.

The Dunn County Multi-Purpose Arena is more commonly referred to as the Menomonie hockey rink.

"I played in it 40 years ago, it was brand new and it's aged in 40 years. This building is 40 years old. So, it's time we did some things so the community will have a nice facility for the next 40 years," Terry Watkins, UW-Stout Men's Hockey Coach says.

The arena is on goal to make better use of its multi-purpose name.

"We have hockey in here for five months, and we said that leaves seven months that we don't use this building and we could generate revenue and the community can use it," Watkins says.

The hockey arena, which was emptied of ice recently, is used for other events throughout the year but the size limits who can use the space.

"My excitement comes from the improvements that they're making that the community as a whole will benefit from. We expect to see just a ground swell of public support for projects like this," says Georgina Tegart, of the Community Foundation of Dunn County, which is helping with the fundraising.

The $1.1 million project includes a new community center, three new locker rooms, additions and improvements to the concession area.

"By removing this wall, you will be able to visualize the new community center that's going to be a 50 x 60 foot area added on the north end of building. So, this is going to be the crown jewel of the project that we hope can accommodate our new venues," Foster Soper, the Fundraising Committee Chairperson says.

"We've decided to two-phase it because of timing and this year, phase one, will be all of the new locker rooms, new concession area, the new community room and the upgrades to our bathrooms. And next year, phase two, will be the new roof," Watkins says.

The first part of construction starts this spring and will wrap up right before the next hockey season face-off.

More than half of the money for the project has been raised so far from area businesses and organizations. Now, project organizers are asking for the public's help.

If you'd like to find out more or see how you can donate to the project visit the Community Foundation's website.  

 

 

 

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