Parents are reacting to news of a new fundraising campaign for the Scheel’s Iceplex set to be built at the Sioux Falls Sanford Sports Complex.
It’s week two of practice for five and six-year-olds at the Sioux Falls Ice and Recreation Center. Parents already know time is tight, especially ice time.
“All-together in this age bracket, I think there's close to 90 kids. They have them split into two different times, so there's close to 45 kids maybe,” mother Gina Hickenbotham said.
And the ice time doesn't get shorter as the teams grow. Right now all skating is split between two indoor facilities: the Ice and Recreation Center and the Expo Building at the W.H. Lyon Fairgrounds.
“The high school kids practice early morning before even school starts. They're out here way early so the younger kids can be here at night,” father Dan Gibson said as he laced up his five-year-old son’s skates. “After January they have to close down the Expo,” he said.
The new ice center would add three sheets of ice to the club sport system. A majority of the $8 million needed is already pledged. Tuesday’s campaign kickoff means another $1.5 million could be raised by March 2013.
“If you're involved in hockey you're passionate about hockey; you're here because you want to be here,” Hickenbotham said.
“They have the facilities for football. They have Howard Wood Field. They have Yankton Trail Park, and they have all those diamonds for softball. They haven't done anything for hockey for how many years?” Gibson asked.
The Ice Sports Association joined with the Sioux Falls Area Chamber of Commerce through its Community Appeals Campaign. If the group reaches its goal, it still must raise an additional $1 million.