Mequon - Construction of a $4.4 million addition to the Ozaukee Ice Center - enclosing a second sheet of ice and seating for 1,200 spectators - was completed this week and the public is invited to an opening party Friday.
A high demand for ice time from local hockey teams and skaters of all ages persuaded the Ozaukee Youth Hockey Association, owner of the center, to build the addition south of the original building, center manager Chris Donovan said.
The association has received $2.5 million in private contributions to help pay for the project. A fundraising drive is continuing with a goal of at least $1.5 million in additional donations to help lower the size of the group's remaining mortgage and put a few finishing touches on the addition, Donovan said.
Naming rights are being sold for the new rink and the entrance lobby, bleachers, locker rooms, concession stand and other pieces of the building.
Putting someone's name on a Zamboni would cost $100,000 - the penalty box, $25,000.
A grand opening party begins at 5:30 p.m. Friday with a ribbon cutting followed by skating exhibitions featuring ice dance competitors Christian Erwin and Kenzie Reid of Brookfield and national freestyle competitor Samantha Puhl of Mequon.
A free, open skate is scheduled from 6 to 7 p.m.
The puck drops at 8 p.m. for an inaugural men's hockey game. The Falcons of Concordia University Wisconsin will take on the Gusties of Gustavus Adolphus College in NCAA Division III play. Admission is free as part of the grand opening.
Everyone bringing an unwrapped toy to the center for the Kids2Kids Toy Drive between Friday and Dec. 23 will receive a free skate rental.
The ice center, at 5505 W. Pioneer Road, was built in 1996. It is located west of Green Bay Road.
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