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Published November 29, 2009, 10:07 PM

Crookston Ice Arena Nears Completion

After 18 months of construction, the Crookston Sports Center is nearly completed.

By: Joel Porter, WDAZ

Skaters in Crookston are about two months away from taking to the ice in the brand new sports arena.

The city will open the doors to the Crookston Sports Center at the end of January.

The 14 million dollar arena was built in about 18 months, something mayor Dave Genereaux says wouldn't have been possible without a ten million dollar grant from the state.

And once completed, it will hold three rinks, and Genereaux says they plan to use it for a lot more than just hockey.

The concrete is poured and most of the glass is installed as painters work feverishly. In about a month, work will be finished on the new Crookston sports center.

"We set the grand opening for two weeks later than what the contractor thought he needed because there's always little snags, but it's going real well," Crookston Mayor Dave Genereaux said.

And mayor Dave Genereaux says it's not a moment too soon. He's already fielded several requests from the hockey team and skaters itching to hit the new ice.

"Is there anyway we can get in there and play just one game in there this year? And we really tried to accommodate that," Genereaux said.

Of course, the center will play host to events like hockey and figure skating, but Genereaux says he was hoping to make it into a multi-purpose complex as well. They even put in a quarter-mile walking track which runs around the entire arena which will be open to the public during the winter months.

"Indoor soccer, we wanted to put a turf in. Right now it looks like we're going to have turf and so we can use that for spring sports when we still have that white stuff on the ground," Genereaux said.

The center will replace the old arena which was still in the flood plain. The center was built in about a year and a half, which Genereaux says was thanks mostly to a ten million dollar grant from the state.

"We really needed to get that building out of there so we could put up a new levee," Genereaux said.

The remaining four million needed was raised locally. Genereaux admits the building won't be as fancy as the ice arenas in Warroad and Thief River Falls, but says the new center will make up for it in utility.

"This is going to be a basic type facility, very usable. It's just not going to have all the real nice amenities because we just couldn't afford it," Genereaux said.

Genereaux says they plan to hold the grand opening for the arena on January 30th.

On that day they'll host figure skating, a girls hockey game followed by a rivalry matchup between Crookston and the East Grand Forks boy's hockey teams.

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