SARTELL -- It won't be long now before the first practices will be held inside the new Sartell hockey arena.

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The turf is being installed inside Regional Diagnostic Radiology (RDR) Arena this week.

Sartell Youth Rec Center President Brian Zimny says once the turf is finished they can start renting the space as early as next month.

Once the turf is in we expect to start renting the facility for those that want to utilize the turf. Then this fall the turf would come out and the ice would go in RDR.

The new RDR arena was designed as a seasonal facility with turf rental from April through October and ice rental from November through March.

Zimny says in addition to the turf, RDR arena will also have a batting cage set up, multiple locker rooms, office space and a large conference room.

He says this project has been in the making for the last seven years and it's amazing to finally give athletes of all sports additional recreation space.

There is demand for winter and summer ice, and there is demand for utilizing the turf from other sports. We have a lot of support to be able provide a space like this.

Zimny says starting June 7th they plan to have summer ice rental available in Bernick's Arena for the first time ever, while RDR arena should be available to rent by mid-June.

He says while they are excited to utilize the turf this summer, they are also working on scheduling their first hockey tournament for this winter.

They are already talking about games and tournaments. They are in the process of booking our first tournament in January so we are very excited to potentially have a 16 team tournament hopefully coming to Sartell.

Zimny says while the practice space itself will soon be finished, other spaces like the locker rooms, still need some work. He says they hope to button up those minor projects by the end of the summer.

He says their organization is still actively fundraising and have about $77,000 left to reach their goal.

The arena cost roughly $6-milllion dollars and has been funded through facility naming rights, private donations and city funds through half-cent sales tax dollars and golf course lease funds.

The entire complex will be known as the SCHEELS Athletic Complex, which will include both Bernicks and RDR arena.

RDR Arena