Plans for $20M Veterans Memorial Arena addition get boost from West Fargo schools

The West Fargo School Board, at the request of the West Fargo Hockey Association, will put down $5 million towards the project, which hopes to add a third sheet of ice at Veterans Memorial Arena.

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A rendering of Veterans Memorial Arena addition courtesy of Icon Architects. Special to the Forum.
Icon Architectural Group

WEST FARGO — An envisioned $20 million addition to Veterans Memorial Arena at West Fargo High School received a crucial contribution that would help add a third ice sheet to the arena, where most West Fargo youth teams practice and play.

The West Fargo School Board will put down $5 million towards the project after entering into a memorandum of understanding on Monday, Feb. 13, with the West Fargo Hockey Association, (WFHA), the group leading the addition efforts of the arena.

Levi Bachmeier, the West Fargo Schools business manager, and School Board President Patti Stedman said the partnership agreement helps with not only the cost, but builds relationships with the community.

"The board has been very clear they value stakeholder partnerships," Bachmeier said.

The hockey association is also asking the West Fargo Park District to consider a $5 million contribution to the project. Association officials presented the plan to the West Fargo Park Board in October.


WFHA would then raise 50% of the project cost, or $10 million.

The additional ice sheet would be built on the north side of West Fargo High School and would be owned and maintained by the park district, which currently operates the existing ice at Veterans Memorial Arena.

Bachmeier said Monday that the school district's long range facilities task force is currently considering building needs in the future, which includes not only school buildings but needed facilities, as well.

At a recent committee meeting, 80% of the members voted to include additional ice in a plan for what is needed in the city's future.

The task force, however, did not support adding ice at the West Fargo Sports Arena, despite it having room for an expansion. Current estimates say a third sheet at the West Fargo Sports Arena would cost about $17 million.

"Expanding the West Fargo Sports Arena was a much less popular idea than I expected," Bachmeier said.

A third ice sheet at Veterans Memorial Arena would be the city's fifth, with the other two ice rinks located at West Fargo Sports Arena, which is owned by the West Fargo School District and managed by West Fargo Events. The high schools boys and girls hockey teams from West Fargo, along with the boys team from Sheyenne, play and practice at West Fargo Sports Arena.

Jeremy Jorgenson, executive director of WFHA, said last fall that the project would not just benefit the hockey community, but West Fargo as a whole. The hockey association continues to grow with more than 700 members, Jorgenson added.


Monday's agreement between the WFHA and the school board is not legally binding, but it allows the WFHA to move forward with fundraising.

A formal agreement for the third sheet of ice partnership would need to be approved by the School Board after it formally approves a recommendation by the long rang planning facility, which is expected to be presented at a March School Board meeting.

Readers can reach reporter Wendy Reuer at or 701-241-5530 . Follow her on Twitter @ForumWendy .

As the West Fargo editor, Wendy Reuer covers all things West Fargo for The Forum and oversees the production of the weekly Pioneer.
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