Mandan News

Park district interested in arena expansion

The Mandan All Seasons Arena, which will receive a needs assessment to figure out how much an expansion would cost. Mandan News file photo

The Mandan All Seasons Arena, which will receive a needs assessment to figure out how much an expansion would cost. Mandan News file photo

 

By Brian L. Gray

The Mandan Park Board has approved investing $10,000 for a needs assessment to be performed that will explore how much an expansion of the All Seasons Arena would cost.

The cost will be paid evenly between the Mandan Park District and the Mandan Hockey Club. The park board has approached Icon Architect, based out of Fargo with an office in Bismarck, to perform the assessment.

Parks Director Cole Higlin said an expansion of the existing hockey arena is the only financially feasible move to help handle the increasing popularity of youth hockey in Mandan. While it is early in the process, Higlin said that an expansion could cost upwards of $800,000 to $1.2 million, “but at this point we really don’t know.”

The possible expansion would take place on the west end of the building. Higlin says the expansion would include adding another sheet of ice. The additional sheet would serve as a practice sheet of ice, and would not be used for games.

The $5,000 cost to the assessment for the park district was marked on its 2013 budget. If plans go forward, the cost of the assessment would serve as a $10,000 payment toward the expansion.

One hurdle that would need to be crossed is that that land the arena is located on is owned by the Mandan School District. Higlin said he has spoken with the school administrators, and Superintendent Mike Bitz and Assistant Superintendent Jeff Lind are in support of these plans. “If funding can come into place they will approve it,” Higlin said.

The assessment would include a list of need improvements to the facility, and give the park district a true and accurate assessment of the cost, Higlin said. “We will also get a master plan of the facility,” he said. “This will also give us a hard document we can use, so if our board or (hockey) club changes members, we would have something concrete.”

Higlin said the assessment should be completed by the start of next year’s hockey season, and at that point the park district “will go to the hockey club and decide where to go from there,” he said.