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MAC to be finished in mid-November

This is a view from the inside of the addition to the Mitchell Activities Center on Friday. (Aaron Saunders/Republic)

The new sheet of ice at the Mitchell Activities Center won't be placed by the original set date Oct. 1.

According to Mitchell Parks and Recreation Director Dusty Rodiek, the second sheet of ice and the new extension facility will not be done until the middle of November.

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The extension of the finished date can be partly attributed to late snow storms in April, said Rodiek. He said the snow storms forced the project, which slated to get started at the beginning of April, to the end of the month.

"There's not a lot you can do about the weather," Rodiek said. "The contractors are making great progress now, and everything is moving forward."

Puetz Corporation has been working on the project for several months to get the project finished as quickly as possible.

"Everything is getting built," Rodiek said. "Every contractor is in there working and trying to get things built, so we can have ice by the beginning of November. The construction may be done by the middle of October but it will take a couple weeks to make ice. You don't just flood the thing and let it freeze. There is a lot more that goes into it than people realize."

Rodiek said the process is time consuming and involves putting paint and logos under the ice. The process will being within the next week and involves a group of city staff, headed by Mitchell Parks and Recreation Field Operations Supervisor Chuck Jones.

Mitchell Skating and Hockey Association President Doug Beck said he thinks the main rink will have ice by Oct. 1 and added association isn't involved in the construction process.

"From what I have heard, we have a lot of work left to do until we have ice in both rinks," Beck said. "I don't think there is even concrete in the new rink because it is still under construction."

For that reason, the association hasn't set a date to host a banquet or dedication ceremony for the new sheet.

"When we have a clearer picture when the project will be completed and turned over to the city and the hockey association, they we can begin to plan for a ceremony," Beck said.

The new sheet of ice is estimated to cost $2.8 million and is expected to allow Mitchell to host larger and more hockey tournaments.

Registration for league and non-league level skaters has already opened.

The Mitchell Marlins boys' varsity squad is shooting to practice for the first time on the main rink Oct. 1., on the according varsity head coach John Lord.

"We will take it as soon as we can get it," Lord said. "We understand with the new facility being built there is a lot going on. It is not in our hands, but we won't have our first games until mid-November, so we will have plenty of time to get on the ice."