Metro East to get new ice, aquatic complex

9:43 PM, May 14, 2013   |    comments
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By Elizabeth Matthews

ST. CLAIR COUNTY, Ill. (KSDK) - Hundreds of jobs and a new sports complex are coming to the Metro East. It's something the community needs because the U.S. Ice Sports Complex in Fairview Heights had to shut down last fall due to mine subsidence.

When the news came about the closing of the sports complex in Fairview Heights, kids got worried.

"Where are we going to go and how are we going to deal with it? How far away it was going to be," said Logan and Baylee Drolet.

For these kids, their seasons came to a screeching halt last fall. For all Metro East youth, high school, college and adult ice sports found themselves scrambling to find other venues. The lucky ones headed to the Scottrade Center.

"To be where the Blues were was pretty cool, it was pretty cool because it was really big," said Drolet.

With the help of Hawk Development and Dean Oelze, they soon will have their own sports complex to brag about.

"A two sheet ice rink facility accompanied with the hotel and also an aquatic area," said Oelze.

The complex would bring an economic boost to the area and hundreds of jobs. Not to mention, leagues like the Southern Illinois Icehawks can breathe a sigh of relief.

"Eliminate a lot of uncertainty our whole membership of 250 strong kids are able to look out into the future and see that they are going to have a new world class facility in the local area," said Pat McLeod, president of the IceHawks.

At the college level McKendree University is also desperate for a facility like this.

"We have no swimming pool and we have no ice rink and we have an ice hockey team and we are developing a swimming, water polo and diving teams so our teams are desperate for these kinds of facilities," said Dr. Jim Dennis, president of the university.

The Drolet siblings say they can't wait to have a facility to call their own.

"Considering it's ours, we will be the first ones to pretty much be on it," said Drolet.

Developers don't have an exact time of opening or location. They are thinking sometime late next year it will be open and probably located somewhere along I-64.



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