Groups work together to give Eagles Arena new lifeDuring the past two years, area organizations and volunteers have given a facelift to the Eagles Arena, breathing new life into an aging facility. The Jamestown Hockey Boosters, Jamesriver Figure Skating Club and Jamestown Parks and Recreation Department all contributed to the arena’s renovation, said Micheal Grounds, Jamestown Hockey Booster president.
By: Ben Rodgers, The Jamestown Sun
During the past two years, area organizations and volunteers have given a facelift to the Eagles Arena, breathing new life into an aging facility.
The Jamestown Hockey Boosters, Jamesriver Figure Skating Club and Jamestown Parks and Recreation Department all contributed to the arena’s renovation, said Micheal Grounds, Jamestown Hockey Booster president.
Countless hours of fundraising and volunteering turned an outdated ice arena into a facility that can host hockey games up to the high school level, and just in time for the start of the new hockey season.
“It’s a huge cooperative effort to get this done for the community,” said Scott Schafer, member and former president of the Jamestown Hockey Boosters. “We haven’t fought over anything, it’s just been a huge group effort.”
The boosters bought and refurbished an old set of boards and glass, as well as hired a company and assisted them with the installation of a new ceiling, Schafer said.
The Parks and Recreation Department installed new lighting and also painted beams around the facility blue, said Dave Seefried, arena manager.
The Jamesriver Figure Skating Club scraped and painted the walls white in the arena, said Kristen Allen, JRFSC president.
Jamestown Hockey Boosters put about $100,000 into the project and more than 1,500 hours of volunteer labor, Grounds said.
The labor was only part of the work done to the arena. Fundraisers such as an annual hockey banquet, candle and pizza sales plus private donations provided the money to buy the materials, he said.
The parks department put in more than $30,000 for the renovation of the arena, Seefried said.
“It was dark, it’s bright now obviously. It was basically like a storage building if you will,” Seefried said.
The Eagles Arena was originally built in 1984, he said.
On the inside, the ceiling looked basically like that of a Quonset, Schafer said. The new ceiling is now comprised of a durable bubble wrap sandwiched between foil and a composite material that keeps hockey pucks from getting stuck in the ceiling.
The ceiling, also in the Wilson Arena, is the first of its kind in North Dakota, Schafer said.
The old boards once had a wooden frame and Plexiglas. The new boards have a steel frame and tempered glass for increased durability and vision, Grounds said.
Just in refurbishing and installing the boards, the boosters worked one or two nights a week for 16 weeks, Schafer said.
On April 13, the Jamestown Parks and Recreation Commission approved $20,000 for new energy-efficient lights, said Joyce Heinrich, commissioner. In September of this year compared to last year, the new lights saved $1,000 on the electric bill, she said.
The energy savings was part of the board’s choice to pay for the new lights, but the volunteer and fundraising work of the boosters was also a factor, Heinrich said.
The boosters initially wanted to buy the lights and pay back the board as the money came in, but Heinrich proposed Parks and Recreation buy the lights outright because of the work volunteers put into the facility, said Mike Landscoot, Parks and Recreation vice chairman.
Close to 20 skaters and board members of the Jamesriver Figure Skating Club scraped and painted the walls white to show their support for the boosters and Parks and Recreation Department, Allen said.
“It looks clean and the lights are amazing. … It looks brand new, it really does,” she said.
Heinrich and Landscoot both agree ice sports are a benefit for Jamestown.
This year, the two arenas will also host four overnight hockey tournaments during the course of the winter, bringing dollars into Jamestown, Schafer said.
Hockey leagues go from 3 and 4 years old up to high school teams with about 150 participants, Seefried said.
From November to the end of March the rinks will be in use from 3:30 to 10 p.m., with games played each weekend, he said.
“There were limits,” Grounds said. “But I think it’s unlimited now.”
Sun reporter Ben Rodgers can be reached at 701-952-8455 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org