The Grand Re-Opening

The End

The City of Victoria celebrated the Grand Re-Opening of the Victoria Recreation Center — formerly called the Victoria Field House — on Tuesday, September 29th, from 5 to 8 p.m.  A few months ago the City sealed a partnership with School District 112 whereby a second sheet of ice was constructed along with related amenities plus a large room to replace functions formerly filled by the Acorn House. 

City Councilmember Jim Paulsen, above, who was instrumental in brokering the partnership, had the honor of dropping the puck for the first hockey game on the new second sheet of ice along with Rod Frank, school board member for District #112.

The Field House had been skating on pretty thin ice these last five years or so and the slope to success was slippery, almost as slippery as the floor of the hockey rink.

There is no doubt about the name of the Victoria Recreation Center.

The name is prominently displayed on two sides of the large building, the huge addition that houses the second sheet of ice recently constructed.

This is the familiar front entrance to the Victoria Recreation Center.

The new second sheet of ice.

The second sheet of ice consumed the lion’s share of the huge new construction of 2008 -2009.  It is home ice for the Chanhassen High School hockey team, Storm.  Seating capacity is 514 spectators.  Hundeds of locker rooms are available at the facility.  The ice will also be used by Holy Family and local hockey associations.  That’s Carver County Commissioner Randy Maluchnik surveying the new space and thrilled by all of it.  Randy is a former hockey player, former hockey announcer, and a number of other formers that are quite formidable.

Mary Erickson, Community Education Coordinator at District 112, and Board Member Rod Frank near the stairwell at the second sheet of ice.

This is the walkway that leads to the first sheet of ice and body of the original Field House.

Marvin and Mary Gregory of Victoria made the rounds at the Grand Re-Opening.  They are pictured here in front of the first sheet of ice at the Center.

Parents watch their hockey kids at the tables and chairs lined up along this first sheet of ice

The first sheet of ice was the main construction feat of the original 2002 Field House project.  It is home ice to the nearby Holy Family Catholic High School hockey team, Fire.  Seating capacity is 450 spectators.  The raised walking track is located above this sheet of ice and was also part of the 2002 construction.  The track  is free to everyone and has some stalwart fans including Stan Hamerski of Victoria, shown walking here on the evening of the Grand Re-Opening with his wife Jayne.  It takes 9 laps to equal one mile. 

The equipment and exercise room holds a great variety of weight machines including the pull bar being used by Michelle Kaufhold (right) of Victoria under the watchful nearby eye of personal trainer Shirley Groskreutz.  There are also six treadmills, two riding bikes, five ellipticals plus a commercial sit-down elliptical and other pieces.  This well-equipped room has been in use since 2002.

City Councilmember Paulsen and City Attorney Mike Norton survey the spacious new rooms at the Victoria Recreation Center.

The preschool/daycare space is actually a large multi-purpose room, part of the 2008-2009 new construction, that can easily be partitioned into two rooms for recreational programs and community meetings of all kinds.  That’s Dawn Peterson, a preschool teacher employed by the City of Victoria, who formerly used the Acorn House for programs and classes.  The playground area, partially visible here through the large windows, is easily accessed from this room.  The Acorn House was razed to make way for the second sheet of ice.

The playground area is now located in back of the Victoria Recreation Center and is fenced in to help keep children and families safe.  It is open at all times to everyone and is especially convenient for the Center’s preschool and daycare programs.  The playground area was formerly located near the front of the Center and was moved in order to accommodate a much enlarged parking area for the facility.

The double gymnasium at the Victoria Recreation Center, part of the 2002 construction, is basically rented out all winter long to area basketball teams, volleyball teams, and soccer teams.  It is also open daily for one hour, from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m., for residents and members.

School Board Member Rod Frank represented District #112 as he welcomed people to the facility.

Councilmember Paulsen represented the City of Victoria.

The concession stand -- where hotdogs, soup, chips, popcorn, and other snacks are available every day after 5 p.m., when sports teams fill the facility -- is located very near the reception desk.  Doc Schmieg said that the lobby/concession area can seat up to 60 people at tables.  Thank you, Doc, for helping to answer some of my questions.

The Wii Game System is located in a new room created by the redesign of the front lobby entrance to the Center.  That’s Holly Kaufhold, Victoria Park and Rec Supervisor, showing Marvin and Mary Gregory how it works.  Wii is brand new to the Victoria Recreation Center and it’s available on a first come, first served basis.  It’s free for members, inexpensive for nonmembers.

The spacious lobby is an inviting entrance to the Victoria Recreation Center.  Part time city employees working the day of the Grand Re-Opening were Meg Ariail of Chaska, left, and Rosean Harker of Victoria.  Normally Doc Schmieg of Victoria, full time city employee, runs the front desk and assists Park & Rec Director Ann Mahnke who has an office just down the hall.