By Jennifer Kotila
DASSEL, COKATO, MN The Dassel-Cokato area has been working to raise money and build the DC Regional Ice and Sport Center (DCRISC) since 1999, and this may be the year the arena will finally be open for use with natural ice.
The DCRISC has enough funds to complete phase two of the project, and a Mighty Ducks grant through Minnesota Amateur Sports Commission, along with a sizable anonymous donation, would allow for work to immediately begin on phase three.
“If the DCRISC gets the grant, we could immediately begin phase three work, particularly on the refrigeration system,” said DCRISC Board Chair Keith Raisanen. “We have enough funds in hand now to complete phase two, which will be done by year-end.”
Once phase two is completed, the arena will be ready for natural ice, with hockey boards erected, cement work (except inside the rink) completed, and bathrooms and locker rooms constructed.
Applications for the Mighty Ducks grant were due Oct. 1, and the DCRISC applied for $250,000 to assist in completing the arena.
“I believe our chances of being awarded a grant are very good, primarily due to the fact we have already raised more than $1.3 million,” Raisanen said, noting grant applicants must commit matching funds equal to the amount requested. “We have already far exceeded that requirement.”
Raisanen was unsure when grantees will be announced, but he assumed it would be sometime in October.
Along with the possibility of a grant, the DCRISC committee also announced another sizable donation, but the donor did not want the amount or his name released at this time.
Other fundraising efforts for the DCRISC have continued to take place, such as a golf tournament, an ATV raffle, and an auction.
The auction, which took place Sept. 27, raised $18,000, which will be used to continue construction of the interior of the building.
“The generous contributions of all the individuals and businesses that participated are greatly appreciated,” said DCRISC committee member Gregg Halonen.
The ATV raffle, as well as an open house for people to see the progress being made, will take place Saturday, Oct. 11 from 10 a.m. to noon, with the raffle drawing taking place at 11 a.m.
Phase two nearing completion
Ground for the DCRISC was broken in 2010, with the outer shell being built at that time (phase one) at a cost of $1 million.
Work on phase two has taken place since that time as funds have become available.
Phase two construction that is already completed is the in-ground plumbing, interior lighting, and some HVAC work.
The well for the property has been installed, passed fire protection tests, and piping into the building is complete.
The fire suppression system is partially installed, work is ongoing on electric and cement work, and phone and gas installations will be completed in October.
Locker rooms and bathrooms will be completed before the end of the year.
The hockey rink boards the DCRISC obtained from Bemidji State University will be installed once the concrete work is complete.
When phase two is complete, the DCRISC can obtain the certificate of occupancy from Wright County, which means it can be put to use with natural ice, as well as being used as a fieldhouse for DC Schools.