This fast-track, design/build project, led by Kahler Slater, opened less than one year after it was awarded. This schedule was necessary in order to obtain certification as an official Olympic training facility by the U.S. Olympic Committee. The facility features different skating surfaces for hockey, speed and recreational skating and was one of the first of four facilities of its kind in the world. This project received a Merit Award from the Wisconsin Society of Architects in 1993.
The project includes a 400 meter enclosed oval, two Olympic-size hockey rinks and ancillary facilities such as locker rooms, skate rental, concessions, a sports medicine facility, public skate changing facilities, offices, and multipurpose/viewing room.
To expand the use of the facility and improve the financial proforma, event judging platforms, computer facilities for statistics management, and approximately 2,000 spectator bleachers were incorporated into the program. This provides the ability to hold national and international events.
The design concept recognized the importance of creating a distinct image from the adjacent freeway, along with the need to provide a human scale to the entry of the building for the comfort of the users. This was accomplished through the development of a large structure for the event space (the oval). Incorporating a smaller scale element into the design of the ancillary functions further enhanced the design concept by utilizing smaller, user-friendly and transparent materials. The end result is a space that is both high impact and approachable.