Mullett Ice Center Begins Renovations


New Arrowhead hockey locker rooms at the Mullett Center.

Thomas Miller and Connor Akers

Over the course of the summer, the Mullett Center ice rink was under renovation to improve lighting, lockers, scoreboard, and other appliances. According to Craig Peterson, Head manager for the Mullett Center ice rink, through the annual budget and anonymous donations, the renovations were made possible . The rinks improvements are expected to be finished by the time the 2016-2017 high school season starts.

Part of the anonymous donation contributed to the two new scoreboards, replacing scoreboards that have been there since the building was first built in 1998. In addition, a move to a new locker room on the opposite side of the building includes brand new personal lockers. With the new lockers, athletes will have name cards above the seats inside of the locker. Also, the lockers include more storage space, making it easier for the players to store their equipment as well include a larger room to change.

“Our last metal lockers were not the best. We had to go in a different room to sit down and put our gear on. Now we can do it all without even moving and have our own bench space,” says Trevor Graber, a two year varsity hockey player for Arrowhead.

In the last five years, there have been no major renovations from the annual budget. Now, Peterson says their budget over the last five years has expanded enough to renovate the lighting in the rink. New LED lighting is being inserted in the exterior of the building, in the hallways, as well as in the lobby.

The concession store has received a new television screen to display all of the food choices, replacing the board used in the past. They have also invested in a new oven and new menu choices including pizza, chicken strips, tater tots, and even some Starbucks beverages. They have also added healthy choices to the menu such as fruit, assorted nuts, and protein bars.  

Craig Peterson says, “I’m excited for all of the new renovations and improvements. New lights, new products at the concession stands, new lockers, new scoreboards, new HVAC system, this place is going to be looking one hundred percent better.”

The HVAC system is responsible for all of the air ventilation of the facility as well as the refrigeration of the ice.

“Equipment was breaking down, mechanical parts were reaching their lifetime of use. We keep track of how long the equipment lasts, and make improvements when that time is up,” says Peterson.

With the season starting in November, the hockey athletes are ready to take advantage of all the new advancements.

“It’s pretty cool that we got all of these new renovations as a senior. [It] makes me even more excited for the season to start,” says Graber.

According to Peterson, “Our annual budget covers the minor renovations and improvements. The Board along with the management team designs the annual budget each year which comes from the revenue we make for hockey programs and paid ice time. We plan all the expenses we know will need maintenance and improvements each year, such as the sanitization of the bathrooms and upkeep of resurfacing tools. We always leave room for unplanned expenses like accidents and unexpected breakdowns. We also try to plan major future renovations into our budget. The new lighting came from our annual budget. The scoreboard and new locker rooms were paid for by an anonymous donor.”

Along with the current renovations, the Board and management team are planning for upcoming improvements and fixes.

Peterson expressed concern for the roof of the building as well as the ice resurfacer. He said, “The building is getting close to being 20 years old. That is the average lifetime for a roof. Replacing the roof is going to be a very expensive project which should be taking place within the next few years…We have done a really good job maintaining our ice resurfacer. It’s the original ice resurfacer from when the mullett first opened but it’s past its life expectancy. They usually only last 10 years and it’s more than 15 now. Along with the roof, we will be either doing major repairs and improvements on the ice resurfacer or buying a new one within the next few years.”

These improvements will affect more than just high school students at Arrowhead. The Mullett Center has many youth programs as well, from organize youth hockey to try hockey for free and learn to play programs. In addition, the Mullett has open skate on Saturday at 3:00 pm for anyone looking to carve it up.

Peterson said, “The Mullett is one of the nicest rinks in the state. We are very fortunate. We are one of the only high schools to have a rink on site. These improvements are helping to add a fun and safe environment for kids to learn to play hockey, figure skate, or just enjoy skating.”