Community Ice Rink Will Complement New Library and Community Center
Mayor Karl Dean today announced the addition of a community ice rink and hockey center as part of the city’s mixed-use complex to be constructed in southeast Davidson County that also includes an expanded branch library, new regional community center and park. The Predators organization will manage the rink, which will be available for community use and to help expand youth hockey programs.
Today’s event included the ceremonial groundbreaking for the library and community center, which will be located with the hockey center on the north end of the former Hickory Hollow Mall, now known as the Global Mall at the Crossings.
“I see this center becoming a hub of learning and recreation for residents in Southeast Davidson County, one of the fastest growing parts of our city,” Mayor Dean said. “Families will find it convenient for the ice rink, community center, park and library to be in one location. This new public facility will benefit nearby neighborhoods and the surrounding retail and commercial area by attracting more people to the vicinity and creating a more stable business environment.”
The $32 million complex is expected to open in late summer of 2014. The community center and library will be housed in the former JCPenney building, which will be renovated. They will share a large common area that connects to the mall. A 3.7-acre park will be built outside its front doors in what is now a parking lot.
The 86,000-square-foot hockey center will be two-story and include two multi-purpose ice rinks, team rooms, meeting rooms and an observation mezzanine. There will be space for concessions, as well as an ice skate rental and repair center. A covered walkway will connect it to the library and community center.
The hockey center was included in the most recent lease agreement between the city and the Nashville Predators and is being developed as a public-private partnership between the city, the Metro Sports Authority and Nashville Predators. The rink will provide additional hockey opportunities for players of all ages and levels, as well as generate economic activity through tournaments and other special events.
“We are so grateful to the Mayor and Metro for recognizing the many benefits of our public/private partnership,” Nashville Predators CEO Jeff Cogen said. “This facility will create benefits for Davidson County and the community of Antioch at large. It will provide a new location for the community to gather and socialize, and hockey tournaments and figure skating events that will be hosted here will bring significant economic impact to the area with increases in demand for local lodging, dining, shopping and entertainment.
"More rinks also equal more opportunities for people of all levels and ages to get involved in the game of hockey, growing the Nashville Predators fan base and creating new ambassadors to the sport. Thank you again to the Mayor and Metro. The Predators are dedicated to contributing to the economic impact, general well-being and quality of life, not only in this community but for all of Middle Tennessee.”
The city will build and own the $14 million hockey center, and annual debt on the facility is expected to be offset by lease payments from the Predators and savings that will be realized by refinancing other Metro Sports Authority debt to lower interest costs. The Metro Sports Authority will be briefed on the full financing plan at its July 1 meeting.
As managers of the hockey center, the Predators will work with the city to develop a workforce program that will include job training and internship programs at the hockey center.
Public skate sessions will be available at the rink. Skating programs are expected to include free beginner hockey to introduce the sport to families; learn-to-skate classes with discounts for Davidson County residents; and skating opportunities for people with disabilities. The hockey center will serve as the home rink for area sporting leagues, including the Nashville Junior Predators team, and will be available to Metro Schools for ice skating field trips.
The 46,000-square-foot community center will include an indoor gym, elevated walking track, dance studio, wellness equipment, flexible meeting spaces, locker rooms and a roof-top terrace.
The park will include a walking trail, playground and a pavilion. Some 250 trees will be planted throughout the sight. The park will include rain gardens, bike racks, benches and WiFi wireless access. There will also space to accommodate outdoor concerts.
“We’re looking forward to the impact our new regional center at the Global Mall will have on this community,” Metro Parks Director Tommy Lynch said. “We anticipate the center will be progressive, active and dynamic -- bringing the programs and services that Metro Parks is known for to the Southeast portion of Davidson County. The center, coupled with the library and the hockey center, will serve this area well and help bring it a new focus.”
The 30,000-square-foot library will be more than double the size of the existing Southeast Branch Library, currently located at 2325 Hickory Highlands Drive. The new library will expand digital media offerings and include technology centers, places for story time and sections for early childhood, young adult and non-fiction materials. There will be community meeting areas, and full-length glass windows will provide natural light.
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