Architects named for NHEC

Monday, March 9, 2009

Interior view of the National Hockey and Event Center atrium.

Interior view of the National Hockey and Event Center atrium. Drawing courtesy of JLG Architects.

South facade of the proposed National Hockey and Event Center Interior view of the National Hockey and Event Center atrium. Bismarck Civic Center, designed by JLG Architects, Grand Forks, N.D. 

The $29.3 million National Hockey and Event Center (NHEC), slated to break ground in 2010, will be designed by JLG Architects with help from Hagemeister and Mack Architects.

The 20-year-old National Hockey Center, on the south end of the St. Cloud State University campus, will be renovated and expanded into a regional events center and multipurpose venue.

When completed in 2012, the building will have 20-30 luxury suites and additional seats. The entrance, ticketing, administration, pro shop, concourse, restroom and concession areas will be upgraded. In its concert configuration, the NHEC will hold about 8,000.

University officials made the announcement March 8. JLG Architects has offices in Alexandria and Minneapolis, Minn., and Grand Forks and Fargo, N.D. Hagemeister and Mack Architects is based in St. Cloud, Minn.

The schematic design phase contract is $351,000. Additional architectural fees for design and construction services will total $1.4 million.

St. Cloud State's NCAA Division I men's and women's hockey teams play in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, the nation's toughest hockey conference. View a photo slide show about men's hockey. View photo slide show about women's hockey.

In addition to hockey, the NHEC will host concerts, major speakers, theater productions, art shows and expos, dog shows, ice shows, conferences and meetings, and weddings. Athletic competitions will include tennis, Arena League Football, youth wrestling and volleyball. In cooperation with the St. Cloud Civic Center, the NHEC will host trade shows.

JLG, which was selected in a competitive process, has worked on a number of large facilities in Grand Forks, N.D, including the $100 million Ralph Engelstad Center, the Corporate Center and the North Dakota Museum of Art. JLG designed the Bismarck Civic Center and Fargo Civic Center, both in North Dakota.

The firm is currently working on arena projects in Wausau, Wis., Indianapolis, Ind., Dayton, Ohio and Seattle, Wash.

President Earl H. Potter III said: “We are pleased to have an architect with the background and experience of JLG. This is an important project for central Minnesota and having the best architect we could find on board is an essential element to creating this regional hockey and events center.”

Potter added: “We plan to build a complex that puts fans first, emphasizes the history and tradition of our university and teems with the spirit of Husky hockey. It will bring to central Minnesota entertainment and events unlike any before.”

Bill Breyfogle, director of design and construction for Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, said: “JLG Architects was selected based upon their technical competence, cohesiveness and compatibility, ability to deal with aesthetic factors, unique qualifications and geographic relationship to the project site.”

The project is being funded by $6.5 million from the State of Minnesota and nearly $23 million in projected private money, sponsorships and naming rights income.

Leading the fundraising effort will be Eric Kautzman, associate vice president for development, and Sara Granheim, the new director of development for Husky Athletics. Granheim was formerly a development director in the athletic department at Southwest Minnesota State University, Marshall, Minn.

The NHEC and the proposed St. Cloud Civic Center addition are described as “anchors” for extensive development of Fifth Avenue in central St. Cloud. The Fifth Avenue Live! project is expected to include housing, commercial and retail facilities connecting the city’s downtown and the St. Cloud State campus.

- Loren Boone and Jeff Wood

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