New Prague Area Community Center
The people in the New Prague area had a strong commitment to building an area Community Center with an ice arena as the first phase of the project. The population growth in our area was one of the highest for small towns in Minnesota. Participation in ice skating sports for boys and girls was growing. The availability of ice rental time had dramatically diminished to a point of major concern for the New Prague Hockey Association and High School teams. Space for indoor recreational, athletic, and community activities was in high demand. The need for a multiple use facility was becoming a high priority.
A group of community volunteers began to make it a reality when they became organized as a Task Force in February 1995. Their mission was to develop and implement a plan to construct a facility that would bring a wide variety of community participation. Visits were made to other arenas in our area, and Information was obtained from the Minnesota Amateur Sports Commission, the Minnesota Amateur Hockey Association and the Minnesota Ice Arena Managers' Association. A business plan was constructed and implemented; committees were formed to organize the many volunteer’s efforts.
Work intensified in the Spring of 1995. The location was selected and preliminary plans for the building were drawn. Construction costs were estimated, and an operating financial plan was projected. The major discussion centered on the financing of the building. Once the Mighty Ducks legislation had passed, work began on our application for a grant; as well as the fund raising plan. With financial restraints on our cities and schools we knew that we could not look to them for financial support for a project of this size. Major funds would have to come through private and business donations and in kind contributions of labor and materials from a variety of local businesses and partners.
The Task Force officially became the New Prague Area Community Center Association, Inc., with a Board of Directors in July 1995. An informational brochure was published, efforts to build community support for the project continued and fund raising efforts began.
Raising funds continued through the fall and winter. When the New Prague Community Center received the Mighty Ducks Grant, the goal was met. In August of 1996 a groundbreaking ceremony made it official, and the Community Center was to become a reality. On December 1, 1996 the Community Center officially opened when the first New Prague/Montgomery/Lonsdale High School hockey game was played.