HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - The Huntsville Iceplex is calling for a change on the fly. After more than two decades of operation, the complex plans to undergo its first expansion.
The complex will add at least two new locker rooms, restrooms and a multi-purpose room to the east side of the facility. The project is budgeted for $800,000, half of which will come from the City of Huntsville.
The Iceplex is raising the remaining $400,000, the largest fundraising effort since building the facility. Officials say they have already received nearly $250,000 in donations, but ultimately want to break the million dollar mark.
"We want to surpass what it's going to take to build it," said Iceplex general manager Steve Clough. "And if the fundraising goes well, there is an opportunity to add two more locker rooms, which actually is what we really would like to have."
As the home ice for countless hockey players and figure skaters, the Iceplex first opened its doors in December 1991. For the next 15 years, it hosted a variety of national hockey tournaments and figure skating competitions, which generated more than $21 million in revenue.
"We're just not able to support the amount of teams and the tournaments that we really want to get here to bring us back to where we were hosting these national tournaments," said board member Keith Schonrock III.
Clough said the addition of at least two more locker rooms to the already-existing four will help the facility break away as an attractive host site for local and national events.
"By doing this expansion, we can now bid on those national tournaments and bring those events to Huntsville."
Officials project the complex will generate more than $9 million dollars of taxable revenue in the first five years after expansion.
"This expansion will grow the capacity of this facility in a way which our community demands of it," said Huntsville City Administrator John Hamilton. "It will grow that capacity not only in quantity, but also quality."
"Truly the skating community's never been larger than it has been today and we just look forward to expanding that," said Schonrock.
Officials plan to begin construction in May and have it completed by October.
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