The Great Falls Community Ice Foundation is launching a capital campaign for improvements to make the Great Falls Ice Plex a preferred destination for hockey tournaments, skating competitions and year-round events including concerts and expos.
The master plan includes five phases, prioritized by need and approved by the foundation’s board of directors, for the first major improvements since the facility opened more than a decade ago.
Community support through fundraising and donations will be paramount to turn the plan into reality.
The Ice Plex is owned and operated by the Great Falls Community Ice Foundation, a nonprofit with a mission to provide affordable hockey, figure and recreational skating for the greatest number of citizens, young or old, and for all skill levels.
The first phase is an estimated $1.3 million and includes:
replacing the ice sheet refrigerant system. This upgrade involves excavating the existing under-ice refrigerant system currently installed in a sand bed and replacing it with a new system cast into a reinforced concrete slab.
constructing new lockers rooms to replace the small, unheated locker rooms that were installed 10 years ago and only meant to be temporary.
The installation of the concrete floor can be done at any point during the phased plan, as fundraising allows, and would allow the rink to host events in the summer such as concerts and trade shows, increasing revenue potential for the foundation to fund other improvements and operations as well as creating a more versatile event space.
When the small, unheated locker rooms were constructed at the south end of the rink more than a decade ago, they were meant to be temporary. They do not meet sanctioned standards to host hockey tournaments or figure skating competitions. At least five locker rooms are needed for rink operations and this phase moves in that direction with the construction of three new permanent locker rooms, each with its own shower and restroom in comfortably, conditioned space.
Future phases include a new main entry concourse; referee locker rooms; a mezzanine for prime ice viewing and media/announcing facilities; locker rooms for the Great Falls Americans and University of Providence.
Those improvements are phased to allow for fundraising and continuity of operations in the rink.
To donate, mail tax deductible donations to GFCIF at P.O. Box 2869, Great Falls, MT 59403, or donate online.
For more information, contact Teresa Gunn, Great Falls Community Ice Foundation president, at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.