Wow!  The Victoria Field House!

Every part of the Victoria Field House commanded center stage at various times throughout the afternoon and evening of Saturday, March 15th, 2003.  It was a grand Grand Opening.  It was roundly successful.  It was theatric.  It was orchestrated by Victoria for Victoria!

Construction of the $6.2 million facility at Diethelm Park was approved by Victoria city council-members exactly one year ago.  The unanimous vote was taken the night of March 14th, 2002, the same night that Tim Forcier echoed the sentiment of most other Victoria residents when he declared, "I'm not one-hundred percent in favor of it.  I'm one-thousand percent in favor of it!"

The groundbreaking ceremony occurred on June 20th, 2002.  Footings were poured in July, 2002.  The first wall panel was set in place on August 9th, 2002.  The last floor tile was laid a few days before the Grand Opening seven months later.

It is a phenomenal building that will serve the residents of Victoria today and for years to come.  Its amenities, including restrooms and concessions, will be accessible this summer for children and adults who use the softball, baseball, and soccer fields at Diethelm Park.

It sits comfortably and prominently on old farm acreage just a few blocks south of the handsome $23 million Holy Family Catholic High School, which also replaced an old farm site in 1998.

The Victoria Field House already serves kids and parents and grandparents who use the impressive array of exercise equipment, make laps on the walking track, play basketball and hit golf balls and baseballs in the huge gymnasium, skate in the ice arena, eat and socialize at the concessions, or simply stop by to be entertained by the daily activities, both scheduled and unscheduled.

A band billed as The Bourbon Street Boys was hired to greet visitors to the Grand Opening of the Victoria Field House.  Their brass, bass, and strings, were delightful.  They were fun.  They were invigorating.

When Greg Clough wasn't driving the zamboni, he was eating and socializing here with Rosean Harker, part time employee at the field house.  Where did the delicious food come from?  Sherrie Jones, administrative assistant to the city's Parks & Rec Department, was in charge of putting together a menu and ordering the food.  It came from the Victoria House.  It was delicious and plentiful and free to over 800 people who attended.

Spirit of Dance, under the direction of Donna Brown-Fort and Judy Winship of Victoria, featured dance lines of tiny ballerinas who entertained crowds of people in the new large gymnasium.

Wayne Neubarth, president of the Victoria State Bank, eyes the new zamboni at the Victoria Field House on which the Klein Banks approved $25,000 worth of bank advertising. 

The paint was still wet at the Grand Opening!  That's Jude Boulianne in the driver's seat.

The ribbon cutting ceremony and dedication was prepared by Mayor Jerry Bohn and included present and past city councilmembers, staff, RSP Architects, Kraus Anderson Construction, and Mike Ayres of Oppidan Investment Company. 

Victoria city councilmembers have been trying to guide and direct growth for the common good of current and future residents, rather than allowing it to occur randomly and at the whim of developers and fortune seekers.  The Victoria Field House is part of that plan.

Mary Meuwissen, left, was at the helm during the entire process that brought the Victoria Field House to the City of Victoria.  Her mother, Bea Beddor, and sister Sandy attended the Grand Opening festivities.

The dedication plaque reminds visitors who helped to make it happen.

Victoria City Councilmember Dave Lindgren dropped the ceremonial puck at the celebrity hockey game between teams called Bucks Unfinished Furniture and Green Mill.

Later that evening the Victoria Lions worked the beverage table which had beer, wine, and pop available for the festivities.  Thank you (l-r) Gary Eklund, Bruce Thalacker, Tom and Sue Bogaard.

Victoria City Administrator Steve Sarvi brought his young family to the Grand Opening.  The oldest son was enjoying another part of the field house at this particular moment.

One of the talented young skaters at Victoria on Ice was Anna Buller of Chaska.

Another of the local talents was Delanie Honda of Victoria.

Twin City Synergy performed in sync and with synergy.

The Acrobatic Skaters were a great hit with the Victoria audience, sending laughter to the rafters.

Nicole Bobek is a national champion and 1995 World Bronze Medalist.

Costumes changed and charged the skating atmosphere of Twin City Synergy.  It was a day and an evening to behold.  And it all happened with grace in a land called "The City of Lakes and Parks" not a mystical land, but one of reality .. where dreams come true.

Oops!  Now how did Grandma Sue and Addie get in this file!

The End

Love, Sue


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