Addition of second sheet of ice being discussed for Activities CenterAfter a successful season for Mitchell’s hockey teams, the Mitchell Skating and Hockey Association is looking into the possibility of adding a second sheet of ice to the Mitchell Activities Center. “The need to have that second sheet of ice is there,” MSHA President Brian Nash said.
By: Kevin Pottebaum, The Daily Republic
After a successful season for Mitchell’s hockey teams, the Mitchell Skating and Hockey Association is looking into the possibility of adding a second sheet of ice to the Mitchell Activities Center.
“The need to have that second sheet of ice is there,” MSHA President Brian Nash said.
Nash said when he joined the MSHA committee, the association had between 140 and 150 skaters. This year there were 190 skaters, and next year he expects more than 200.
With the number of hockey players rising, it has been difficult for teams to get practice time on the ice with only one rink.
John Lord, head coach for the Marlins’ boys’ varsity team, said that his team practices at 5:30 a.m. during the season.
“That’s kind of rough on a high school kid,” said Lord, whose team won the varsity state boys’ championships this year and was one of three Mitchell hockey teams to make a state title game. “If you don’t expand, you end up with attrition, because you’re not getting enough ice time.”
Nash said along with a second sheet of ice, the association is looking into adding seats for the Mitchell Activities Center.
He said stipulations in the South Dakota Amateur Hockey Association regarding seating have prevented Mitchell from hosting a boys’ varsity state tournament. Nash hopes Mitchell can host a boys’ state tournament in the future.
The association is in the early stages of looking at options for expanding.
“We’re kind of in the preliminary stages,” Nash said. “We’re just starting to look at prices and get some quotes on different options.”
The association met with the Mitchell Park and Recreation Director Dusty Rodiek about the plan.
Nash said that Rodiek was OK with the idea, and the association will look deeper into the plan at its annual meeting on April 26.
“Our committee is going to look at some of the prices,” Nash said. “Anytime you do something like this, you’ve got to get the cooperation from a lot of people.”
Nash said when the association has an idea of prices, it will take plans to the city council.
The association contributed 50 percent of the cost to the existing facility and Nash said he assumes that the association would need to raise at least 50 percent for any additions.
Nash said he is optimistic a second rink will eventually be put in. But he feels that it will be a long process.
“It’s not something you can snap your fingers and even get within one or two years,” he said. “It’s going to take us some time to get commitment from various donors. At the earliest, you’re looking at year four or five.”