$650K sought from district

The Metro Sports Foundation will ask the Fargo School District to pay $650,000 up front to help complete financing for the main rink at the Urban Plains Center and Tournament Facility.

The Metro Sports Foundation will ask the Fargo School District to pay $650,000 up front to help complete financing for the main rink at the Urban Plains Center and Tournament Facility.

The money will be used to help secure the final $2 million needed to receive bonding for the project, MSF President Todd Berning said.

Berning said the foundation needs the Fargo School District's commitment in place before bonds are sold.

"It's just a piece of equity that we need today," Berning said. "We'd like to see it done. If it doesn't get done, we'll have to regroup."

The money would go toward future rent for Fargo North and South high schools, the primary building tenants along with the Fargo Force of the United States Hockey League.


MSF members will present their request during Tuesday's 5:30 p.m. School Board meeting.

Dan Huffman, the Fargo School District's assistant superintendent for business services, wrote a letter to the School Board outlining the MSF proposal.

"While the request does forward fund a portion of the Fargo School District's future ice rental cost, we believe it is a reasonable solution when taken in the context of potential cost should the Fargo School District and the Fargo Park District have to solve the hockey ice time and space issue independent of this facility," Huffman wrote.

Ed Lockwood, a district representative on the Metro Sports Foundation, said he expects the School Board to decide Tuesday if it will accept the proposal.

Lockwood, the district's activities director, said he doesn't know if the district has $650,000 available for the project.

"Using today's dollars, giving $650,000 up front would equate to about $800,000 of ice time," Lockwood said. "Basically, what we're doing is locking in a certain number of hours for rental time that's today's rate rather than 10 years down the road."

In the MSF proposal, the money would be spread out over 10 years. The facility would use $35,000 this year, $45,000 in 2009 and continue until 2017.

Berning said the district will not prepay until bonds are sold.


"We're looking for a commitment now, not the money," Berning said. "It's one of the conditions from the bank. When we would use that money would be determined later."

In other business Tuesday, the School Board will be asked to approve a $3 million interest-free loan to help finish construction of the new Trollwood Performing Arts School in south Moorhead.

School Board President Robin Nelson said Friday that the loan is needed because some funding pledges will be received by FutureBuilders, Trollwood's fundraising body, over several years.

"It's more of a cash flow thing, more than anything," she said.

The money will be held by the District and used to pay construction bills. Pledge monies would be forwarded to the district as they came in to pay off the loan, district documents show.

In August, higher-than-expected construction costs forced TPAS and FutureBuilders officials to cut more than $1.25 million from the arts schools' construction budget. That put construction costs at more than $13.1 million, up from the original budget of $12.75 million.

FutureBuilders also pledged to raise another $1.75 million to pay excess costs and for landscaping, bridges, shelters, stage equipment and a contingency fund.

If you go


- What: Fargo School Board meeting.

- When: 5:30 p.m. Tuesday

- Where: 415 4th St. N., Fargo

Readers can reach Forum reporter Heath Hotzler at (701) 241-5562.

Hotzler's small college blog can be found at $650K sought from district Heath Hotzler 20080105

What To Read Next
Get Local


Must Reads