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Second Sheet of Ice Details and Background

By Tammy - STMAYH VP of Communications, 11/03/15, 4:00PM CST


Dear Families,
We need you even more than before! Lets show support in number and spirit.
Besides requesting your support at the School Board Meeting on Monday we also have been invited to attend the Albertville City Council Meeting on Monday at 7:00. WOWZA! Details Below.
Please come, please share if you’d like, but please be gracious and understanding of the members and their obligations. We have come a long way and this is a sensitive subject in the community. Over this past weekend, we have seen posts online from others in the community who may not be as enthused as we are in the association for the second sheet of ice. As a result there will probably be vocal dissent from individuals against the cause. Please understand that this will always be a part of the process but if we conduct ourselves properly we have a better potential to succeed in the long run.
Albertville City Council Meeting:
When: Monday, November 2
Time: 7:00 pm
Where: Albertville City Hall, 5858 Main Avenue NE, Albertville. Council Room.
School Board Meeting:
When: Monday, November 2
Time: 7:00 pm
Where: School Board Room at the District Office, Middle School West Door A.
11343 50th Street NE, Albertville
GO STMA Youth Hockey!
Thank you,
Tammy Weidenbach
STMA Youth Hockey VP of Communications
Before attending these meetings we wanted to share with the association a little background on how we have gotten this far, as presented by Chris Hansen who is a Co-Chairman on Second Sheet of Ice Committee.
I just want to take a minute and update everyone on what is being discussed at this upcoming meeting and the decorum expected by ALL members of our hockey association along with a little history lesson on what our Association members attempted to do in years gone by. First, our STMAYHA group met with a full joint powers meeting on October 12th, 2015. We presented our current situation to the entire St, Michael City Council, Albertville City Council and School Board. The meeting was successful in once again highlighting the need for a second sheet of ice in our communities to support the growing numbers of participants, user groups and the overall growth of our community. The School Board takeaway from the meeting was to analyze the current use status and needs of our High School programs. On Monday, October 19th, School Superintendent Dr. James Behle presented a report to the School Board showing the historic utilization of the Arena by the Varsity and Junior Varsity Boys and Girls High School teams. Our Varsity Hockey Coaches, Jerr and Jason Johnson spoke on their challenges to run effective practices due to the limited ice time allocated to their programs. The conclusions showed alarmingly that our High School athletes miss the equivalent of ONE FULL Skating Year in grades 10-12 compared to other High School programs due to the reduced practice schedule. Again, a demand for more ice availability was resoundingly demonstrated. An additional area of concern noted was the substandard experience for spectators as a result of the limited seating capacity of the current arena. Sadly, we have many spectators who choose not to attend hockey games as a result of the facility shortcomings. And finally, our Athletic Director Brian Benson and Girls High School Coach Jason Johnson spoke in regards to the growing participation in the girls hockey program and the inherent challenges that come along with that growth to provide adequate practice time and facilities for all. After hearing the report, each School Board Member then commented specifically on their initial thoughts of different funding options. Ultimately the Board requested more information to further review and understand potential funding solutions. Next Monday’s meeting is the follow up to that meeting at which they will dive deeper into these topics. St. Michael and Albertville have respectively asked the School Board to identify their interest level and desire to be a participant in the expansion due to the fact that some of the amenities needed by our Varsity and Junior Varsity Boys and Girls Hockey programs would have to be considered in the design and build of new facility and lends to the overall scope and cost of the project. If the School Board ultimately decides it isn’t going to participate, it means the planning of a new rink moving forward would likely be scaled more towards a “tournament rink” meeting the demands of the community user groups but not necessarily incorporating high seating capacity bleachers or locker rooms with showers, “a Varsity Rink.” Therefore, I request all comments or input from any of our Association members be offered with the utmost respect and appreciation for the time that all of these Elected Officials have dedicated towards solving the challenges faced in this initiative.
I strongly believe the reason we have reached this unprecedented level in this endeavor is a result of the way our entire association has conducted itself with class and professionalism. Please don’t be that person that ruins that. As stated above, everyone agrees there is a need for another sheet of ice. That fact is not being disputed. My recommendation if people would like to be recognized and speak most influentially at the meeting, would be to speak directly to what having another sheet of ice means to you, your family, and more importantly, your kids! What does this afford to you in regards to more family time, less late nights at towns near and far, more time for homework, more sleep time for your kids, better performance in school, more dollars spent in the community, less gas expense, (I could go on and on). Bottom line, please be respectful and speak from the heart. I will finish with this, years ago we had another committed group of Association members, parents, kids, etc... that attended a Board meeting and the situation quickly spiraled out of control with “demands” for a rink. This lynch mob tactic did not work then and it will not work now. Please come, please share if you’d like, but please be gracious and understanding of the members and their obligations.
Kindest Regards and Sincerest Thanks-
Chris Hansen
Co-Chairman – Second Sheet of Ice Committee