City speaks out on spending Kraft Hockeyville prize money

MARQUETTE– Lakeview Arena is used year round by many different events and teams.

So what are the plans for the prize money from Kraft Hockeyville?

Now community members and the city are weighing in on what future improvements should be done on Lakeview Arena. Prior to the preseason match-up Lakeview Arena underwent some facility changes to meet NHL regulations. So far $50,000 of the prize money has already been put into the arena.

But where will the rest of the prize money go?

“It’s very expensive to maintain between the boards and the glass, the showers in the locker rooms, maintain the fixtures in the restrooms, and there’s a large associated cost with that, that definitely exceeds what we won for the prize money,” Marquette Parks and Recreation Coordinator Andrew MacIver said. “So that’s the reasons we want to get some more input from the community, some input from a consultant, make sure we do this right.”

The city is now looking for matching grants to help further improvements.

MacIver said there is a lot of scientific measures that need to be taken control of in the facility, from humidity to temperature.

“Just trying to get the best bang for our buck, maybe even possibly double our money,” MacIver said. “We need to evaluate what grants are out there still, we need to kind of look through this whole plan and see what’s available and attainable for us it when comes to some of the costs of these projects. We’re just trying to make sure we’ll have some financially sustainable facilities here.”

A major part in making Lakeview Arena more sustainable for future generations is knocking down the energy bill, and majority of the energy used here is through creating ice. This is a problem nationally for ice rinks, but at Lakeview Arena, the ice maker is from 1984. On top of the prize money, the Kraft Hockeyville Committee along with community members raised nearly $110,000. To receive feedback from locals the committee created an online poll, with aims to understand the improvements arena goers are hoping to see. Feedback showed hopes for improvement in the sound system, locker rooms, and an off ice dry land facility for shooting and stick handling.

“We’re going to work with the city to see what changes we can make with those dollars that maybe the city won’t,” Chairman of Kraft Hockeyville Committee Doug Garrow said. “I know the city is really big in doing stuff that will save money on energy costs and stuff like that so we’re looking at more cosmetic changes that people.”

Before making any decisions, the city is waiting to hear back on the performance contract.

MacIver said the city wants to make sure the projects are done right lasting a long time at the arena- unlike some in the past.