MANSFIELD (CBS11) – Mansfield says it’s ready to build a $12.6 million ice rink for the Dallas Stars to operate off of 287 near Broad Street. But there is one big if.
The rink will be built if the school district chips in half-a-million dollars. And for some taxpayers, that puts the project on thin ice.
“I don’t know that the school district would recover that kind of money that they would invest in it,” said Mansfield resident Greg Hennings.
The people who have their doubts about an investment in hockey are facing off with people who say the idea is a good goal for the city.
“There’s really nothing from a hockey perspective facility-wise in the southwest part of the Metroplex,” said Mansfield resident Jeff Adam.
Before Mansfield sees a rink like this, the school district has to decide if it wants to invest nearly $2 million.
The district would use natural gas revenue to pay $500,000 dollars up front to help construction.
Then it would pay another $1.3 million over five years if it wants to use the rink for things like field trips, skating camps and fitness programs. The district does not have a hockey team.
“It is really not a school activity it’s a community activity and I don’t really see why the school district should have to pay for a community activity,” Hennings said.
But the city sees the StarsCenter as a piece of a bigger economic development picture.
The rink would be right next to where they’re currently building a basketball and volleyball gym, which is right next to a large softball field complex, which is right next to a trail head, which is surrounded by private land ready for development.
As a whole, the city believes the arena and the active lifestyle around it will help spark private development that’s been promised here for a decade.
“I think that it’s probably a great idea and that there should be some shared expense by the Mansfield school district,” said Adam. “I think it be a boon for the area, it be good for the residents and certainly for the youth in the area.”
The school board will hear it from both sides Thursday, February 18. There’s a public meeting planned at 7:00 p.m. at the district’s center for the performing arts.
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