Reno Ice holds virtual groundbreaking for $9.5 million arena project
RENO, Nev. — The afternoon of April 30 served as the groundbreaking ceremony for Reno Ice, marking the first phase in the opening of the Jennifer M. O’Neal Community Ice Arena.
The virtual ceremony — rescheduled from an in-person groundbreaking in order to maintain social distancing guidelines — was led by Joel Grace, the president of the nonprofit Reno Ice.
Reno Mayor Hillary Schieve, Ward 2 City Councilmember Naomi Duerr and Ward 2 Washoe County Commissioner Bob Lucey were also on hand.
“This has been five years of hard work,” said Grace. “It’ll be the first in the country for this ice. … The entire package is what was used in the last Olympics.”
Phase I construction is expected to cost $9.5 million and will take up 3.83 acres of a 6-acre lease held by GRCISA.
The first phase includes parking lot and landscaping, as well as a 38,843-square-foot building that will house the lobby area, locker rooms, a rental and pro shop, mechanical and Zamboni room, and the rink itself. The NHL regulation ice skating facility will offer year-round recreation.
The arena is expected to be completed by the end of the year and is located on Wedge Parkway in the South Valleys Regional Sports Complex, near the yellow library.
“This is huge for our community,” said Schieve. “This is going to bring so much joy to kids that need this type of recreation. We have not had ice in our community in decades.”
Reno Ice is still looking for donations to continue funding for the rink.
“We are still in fundraising mode. We have a very generous nonprofit loan that we still need to pay back,” said Grace. “Anything you can do, we greatly appreciate your support.”
Heather Ashbridge, who started with Nevada State Development Corporation in 2008, previously served in several roles with the organization, including assistant vice president and loan officer. She is based in NSDC’s Reno office.