Fundraising underway to build new ice and community center in New Richmond, Wisc.

The city council in New Richmond, Wi., set aside more than seven acres of land in the Business and Technical Park for a future multi-purpose community facility.

“St. Croix County is the fastest growing county in Wisconsin, and New Richmond is the fast growing in St. Croix County,” said New Richmond Mayor Jim Zajkowski. “When these young families come, they want more amenities, this is another key thing that is for New Richmond families.”

The new project is in the fundraising stages that calls for a community health and wellness space, along with two covered sheets of ice.

Currently, the youth hockey association, including boys and girls programs, and high school programs share a single sheet of ice at the New Richmond Sports Center.

The current sports center has been a fixture in Western Wisconsin since the late 1970s, which was built for around $200,000, including $90,000 in city financing, along with other funding coming from a community outreach effort.

“Everyone who comes here from Illinois, or Canada, to wherever they always comment on how ‘homey’ it is,” said Angela Olson, New Richmond Youth Hockey Association President, about the sports center.

Olson said that ‘nostalgia’ of the old rink comes with a high cost to keep the center’s aging ice equipment functioning.

NRYHA is seeing more kids coming out to play the game.

“We don’t have enough time. We’re just bursting at the seams,” Olson said.

The NRYA is helping with the fundraising efforts in the community to try and build the new center.

The community cheered on several state hockey championship teams in the city, including the New Richmond High School Boys’ hockey team this season.

“It’s becoming a growing problem, but it’s a good problem that we have that many kids going out to play hockey,” said John Larson, New Richmond High School Hockey Head Coach. “For us, it’s paramount to get additional ice to support our community.”

The community fundraising effort to try and build a new multi-purpose facility estimates the project at more than $15 million, and how much could come from government entities hasn’t been determined.