NOTE: A Special Thanks to the Great Falls Community Ice Foundation (GFCIF) for providing the video.
By Great Falls Community Ice Foundation (GFCIF)
January 23, 2021
GREAT FALLS, Mont., January 23, 2021 —The Great Falls Community Ice Foundation (GFCIF) (www.gf-ice.org) is excited to present and launch the Great Falls Ice Plex Master Plan capital campaign, which lays out the improvements that are expected to happen over the next several years. The project will be over six phases and prioritized by needs set by the GFCIF Board of Directors. This will be the first major renovation since the ice facility opened in November 2008.
Constructing New Locker Rooms: When the small, unheated locker rooms were constructed at the south end of the rink over 10 years ago, they were meant to be temporary. They do not meet sanctioned standards to host tournaments and ice shows. A full complement of (at least) five locker rooms is essential to operations. The completion of this first phase will lay the groundwork for the execution of future phases by constructing three new locker rooms. Each locker room will have its own shower and restroom in a comfortably, conditioned space. This phase also includes a much-needed entry/exit vestibule airlock at the north entrance to keep our Great Falls weather at bay.
The cost for this construction is estimated at $575,000.
New Main Entry Concourse: This phase constructs a major addition to the Ice Plex and puts an iconic “face” and identifiable main entry to the building. The new glass entry will light up like a beacon at night and open into a large concourse area for concessions, ticketing and rentals. A space large enough to congregate in a heated environment will surely be welcomed when lacing up your skates, and during intermission at games. A viewing area of the rink will allow spectators to watch the action on the ice from within the heated concourse. The area between Phase 1 and the new entry will construct shelled space for indoor dryland training space for warm-ups and athlete conditioning. Once construction is completed, the parking lot will be paved, and curbs and landscaping will be installed.
New Referee Locker Rooms: The relocation of the concessions facility in the 2nd phase opens up an area that can be dedicated to our referees, giving them access to both the men’s and women’s changing, shower and restroom facilities separate from the main locker room areas.
South Mezzanine: Where the current south locker rooms reside, two sets for new stairs will access prime ice viewing on a new mezzanine. This mezzanine will also access a secure catwalk to an elevated center-ice media and announcing facilities.
Great Falls Americans and University of Providence Locker Rooms: This final phase completes the shelled space constructed in Phase 2 for a dedicated home for our hometown hockey teams! The completion of this phase eliminates the need for the inadequate and very temporary mobile locker rooms currently in place now. Each locker room will have a dedicated coach’s office along with individual player lockers for their gear and shower and restroom facilities.
Replace Ice Sheet Refrigerant System: Although labeled Phase 6, this work can take place at any time during the off-season. This upgrade will involve excavating the existing under-ice refrigerant system currently installed in a sand bed and replacing with a new system cast into a reinforced concrete slab. This new slab will add the Ice Plex to the list of Great Falls facilities that can host events such as concerts and trade shows in the off-season. It will also greatly reduce the time and cost associated with putting in the ice at the start of the season, and have long-term benefits by reducing utility costs for the Ice Plex.
The improvements will make the GF Ice Plex a preferred destination for hockey tournaments, skating competitions and other year-round events including concerts and expositions. Click here to read more about the fundraising efforts and how you can donate to make this a reality.
Please see the Master Plan Virtual Room-By-Room Video below:
Story Courtesy: Great Falls Community Ice Foundation (GFCIF): Great Falls Ice Plex Master Plan (January 23, 2021)
Story Courtesy: MTN Sports (KRTV): Great Falls Community Ice Foundation unveils plans for Ice Plex (January 24, 2021)