Expansion of Mount Prospect Ice Arena a boost for youth hockey, officials say
The Mount Prospect Ice Arena will continue to expand, and youth hockey stands to reap the benefits.
The Mount Prospect village board on Tuesday approved plans to add a third sheet of ice and 175 additional spectator seats to the facility at 1501 Feehanville Drive in the Kensington Business Center.
The approval includes a provision for additional parking at neighboring 431 Lakeview Court, a property that includes the MPI Sports Development Center and is owned by ice arena owner Nicholas and Associates.
The rink's expansion will allow the youth Reapers Hockey Association to make the arena its home and play at the AAA level, joining the Chicago Fury, Chicago Mission, Chicago Young Americans and Team Illinois in the Amateur Hockey Association of Illinois.
"That's kind of a big deal in the youth hockey community," said Nick Papanicholas Jr., representing Nicholas and Associates. The AHAI has only had four AAA organizations for the past 40 years, he added.
The Reapers will have access to eight team locker rooms, an academic lounge and use of the MPI Sports Development Center and nearby Nicholas Field.
Papanicholas said the third sheet will benefit other area youth hockey organizations as well.
Nicholas and Associates opened the ice arena four years ago on the site of a vacant warehouse. Village Trustee Paul Hoefert said it has since jump started the Kensington Business Center, also home to the new Mount Prospect police station,
Vacancies in the center are now in the low single digits, said village Community Development Director Bill Cooney.
One issue that remains a concern is the impact of lighting on residential neighbors. Papanicholas said shielding will be installed to block the light from the parking lot spilling beyond the property.
"We're 110% committed to find a solution that minimizes any of the light being thrown into the backyards from the existing parking lot lights," he said.
Papanicholas said he is looking to open the expanded portion of the facility by mid-August.