What was once an ice rink in Mandan has been transformed into an arena for athletes of all kinds.

Pepsi All Seasons Arena is now equipped with batting cages, two multipurpose courts and one wood court. The arena was renovated to get more use and to provide additional recreational opportunities for people of all ages.

The facility is owned by Mandan Park District, but it is on school district property — a hop, skip and a jump from Mandan High School.

About two years ago, after the Starion Sports Complex was approved, the Park District decided that once funding was available, the All Seasons Arena should be renovated to make it an all-purpose building, said Naomi Erdahl, recreation manager for the Park District.

The Park District and Mandan Public Schools brainstormed potential options. The school district could use it for sports practices and games, while the Park District could use it for indoor youth programming. Around November, construction began.

"I think that it has worked out well, and we're both going to benefit a lot from it," said Mark Wiest, MPS activities director. "You never can have an overabundance of courts, floor space."

The arena caters to indoor sports, such as basketball and volleyball; the Starion Sports Complex does not have dedicated space. Outdoor sports, such as soccer, tennis and baseball, also will use the arena as their practice facility in the event of unpredictable or inclement weather.

The renovation included pulling all of the bleachers and adding insulation to the building, which was not needed when it was a skating rink. Now, there are portable bleachers that can be brought in for games.

Prior to the new All Seasons Arena, the school district was using about three elementary schools for sports games and practices, according to Wiest.

The school district intends to use the facility during the day for high school physical education space.

"This will be really nice for the kids and just some of the different activities they can do here now, with more space," Wiest said. "This place will not be idle very often."

The renovation included remodeling three locker rooms, which involved taking out years of the once-pungent smell of sweat and hockey gear.

The total renovation cost was $1.2 million, with the Park District and Mandan Public Schools splitting that in half. Also, the boys and girls basketball booster clubs each gave $75,000 to install the wood floor.

There will be open gym hours for the community, and hourly and daily rental opportunities, as well, Erdahl said.

Rates are still being determined. The official opening date is yet to be determined becuse contractors are finalizing a few items.

For more information, visit www.mandanparks.com/facilities/all-seasons-arena/.

Reach Blair Emerson at 701-250-8251 or Blair.Emerson@bismarcktribune.com.

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Education and Health Reporter