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Second sheet of ice officially scrapped

A second sheet of ice for BSU hockey was formally removed from the proposed events center on Monday.

The Bemidji City Council unanimously voted last night to direct the design team to develop designs for a facility that only could include an events center/hockey arena and convention center.

Bemidji State University and the city of Bemidji last month signed agreements committing BSU hockey to being the anchor tenant of the events center. Under the agreement, the hockey teams will utilize the facility for games, but the events center will not serve as their daily "home" for practices and training. The City Council also voted to exclude plans for the second sheet of ice, due to costs.

During Monday's regular council meeting, the council voted to officially direct Leo A. Daly to exclude design plans for the second sheet of ice - and to exclude plans for a second sheet of ice that might be added in the future.

"It does make quite a bit of difference in how you design the facility," said City Manager John Chattin.

Chattin said he asked BSU representatives whether they believed a second sheet of ice would be in the university's future and they said no.

The events center could still accommodate a second sheet of ice as an addition in the future, Chattin said, but design plans will now focus solely on the events center/hockey arena and convention center.

"It doesn't mean it could never be done," he said.

The City Council did not take action on Monday on two proposed committees that would be charged with leading aspects of the events center project.

The first, a steering committee, was proposed by Chattin to meet weekly to make day-to-day decisions on the project.

A second, a design review committee, has been proposed to work with the design team on the exterior design of the facility.

Mayor Richard Lehmann, who now is proposed to serve on both the steering and design committees, said there is some criticism that the proposed fa?ade of the facility does not fit in Bemidji.

That is why the design review committee is "so critical right now," he said.

Council action on the committees' conception was delayed until Monday's work session.

Chattin, who will be unable to attend the work session, urged the council to take action on the committees Monday, if possible.

Work is still needed to be done, he said. Leo A. Daly, for instance, is still preparing pre-design documents for the Legislature, and some of those documents still refer to the downtown site and a full, three-piece facility including the second sheet of ice.

"We need to get them amended, edited and up to date as soon as possible," he said.