BOZEMAN, Mont. - Workers broke ground on the final portion of phase one of the Gallatin Valley Fairgrounds' ice rink upgrade Monday. The new building, when finished, will bring a year-round ice rink to the valley.
The entire cost of phase one, which includes the steel structure to house Bozeman's second ice arena, is estimated to cost around $1million dollars.
The new indoor ice rink will allow people to be on the ice even on hot days.
"It wouldn't matter how hot it is outside, we'll be able to keep that ice cold," said Development Director Chelsea Schmidt.
Schmidt says that the 36,000-square-foot building will go up next to Bozeman's main ice rink, inside Haynes Pavilion at the Gallatin County Fairgrounds, where people are able to skate seven months out of the year.
"We are doing this because currently Haynes Pavilion...is being used as a skating rink seven months of the year and in that seven months, skaters are using that rink from 6 in the morning till midnight," said Schmidt.
The rink easily reaches capacity when it is open.
"To say that our one rink is to capacity is an understatement," said Schmidt.
When the second rink opens, it will have the capabilities to be open year-round, which will help with the growing ice interest.
"It will have the capabilities for year-round, but we have to see kind of what the capacity it is and make sure we can get people on the ice year-round. We really need to get more ice so we can grow all those user groups and grow ice time in Bozeman," said Schmidt.
The new rink will be home to a new mechanical room, team lockers, bathrooms, permanent seating, concessions and a new skate shop.
The Gallatin Ice Foundation is currently raising money for phase two. The estimated cost of phase two is $1.5 million dollars and includes the ice plant, refrigerated rink slab and floor, mechanical room, building lighting and interim locker rooms, bathrooms and seating. Construction on phase two is expected to begin in April of 2014.
The total cost of the entire project is expected to run around $4.5 million dollars.
This article was corrected to detail the cost of phase one and two and what phase of the project crews broke ground on on Monday.