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First look at West Fargo's hockey facility

Exterior rending for the planned West Fargo hockey facility.

WEST FARGO—The School Board here will get its first look on Monday, July 25, at the exterior design of a nearly $18 million hockey facility the district plans to start building this fall.

JLG Architects has chosen a modern mix design for the exterior that includes large windows and a sleek face to the two-story facility just north of 32nd Avenue West and Sheyenne Street.

Earlier this month, the school board approved the hockey facility's interior design with the expectation that it will be large enough and has enough locker rooms to accommodate hosting games for both West Fargo and Sheyenne High School hockey teams. It has a main sheet of ice that has seating for about 830 with a mezzanine and viewing areas that would allow for 1,100 or 1,200 spectators to see a hockey game.

The second sheet of ice, or auxiliary rink, on the north side of the building will also have its own mezzanine seating for about 400.

The project was initially expected to cost about $16.5 million but in order to have a space that could accommodate both schools, the district expects to spend about $2.7 million more in construction costs.

School District Business Manager Mark Lemer said the district will be able to cover that $2.7 million through a number of methods including using money that has been saved on other projects, using unused contingency budgets or choosing to use cost-saving alternate bids in areas such as refrigeration of the ice, bleachers or decor.

While city and school district officials are still working together to create a master plan for the area around the planned hockey facility that would leave room for restaurants and retail businesses, JLG's design of the two-sheet facility has left room on the west side of the building for a future third ice sheet.

West Fargo Hockey Association officials have said the additional two sheets of ice in West Fargo will be adequate enough to support hockey in the fast growing city for about 10 years, but if participation continues to grow at a rapid pace, a third sheet of ice may be needed.

Once JLG presents the designs to the school board at its regular meeting on Monday, the School District plans to request bids and start construction by August.

Wendy Reuer

Wendy reports for The Forum and West Fargo Pioneer, where she is also assistant editor. A University of Minnesota Morris graduate from North Dakota, Wendy started her career in television news and entertainment in Minnesota and at CBS in Television City, Calif. before working at newspapers in Minnesota and North Dakota. 

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