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Hockey training facility awaits study results

In July, the Hastings Hockey Boosters presented a proposal to the city for the construction of a new hockey training facility on the same property as the Hastings Civic Arena.

At the time, HHB thought they might be able to break ground on the facility before year's end. After delving into the fundraising process a little deeper, they've had to put off making any estimates on when the project could start.

Instead of launching straight into fundraising efforts, HHB hired a company to conduct a feasibility study that will determine if fundraising is likely to succeed at this point. A case statement and questionnaire was sent to 275 families and businesses the Boosters thought might be willing to make a donation. The study also includes results from 75 personal interviews.

"They'll put together all the findings and give us a number on what the potential is and how much money can be raised," said HHB coach Dustin Vogelgesang.

The goal is $500,000, which would cover the cost of the more expensive proposal, which would place the new facility at the front entrance of the Civic Arena, attached to the existing building.

"I think ideally the front entrance would be phenomenal," Vogelgesang said.

There are two things that could potentially stand in the way.

"It has a lot to do with how much money can be raised and how much the city wants to be involved financially," Vogelgesang said.

Attaching the facility to the front would also require the city to redesign the arena's main entry to include access to the training area.

The second option is to build a separate facility off the southeast corner of the arena.

The Parks and Recreation Committee of the city council indicated in early talks with HHB that they support preliminary efforts, but decisions on any city contribution will have to wait until the fundraising potential is understood.

"We've had great support from the city throughout the whole process," Vogelgesang said.

The feasibility study should be complete by the second or third week of November. If the results suggest that HHB will be able to raise the necessary funds, they'll move forward with the project, Vogelgesang said. If not, then they'll take a step back and look at other options.

"We're keeping our fingers crossed," Vogelgesang said.