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Hockey by December

Ice hockey appears to be alive and well in Wadena.

The construction of a building around Wadena-Deer Creek's hockey facility is beginning and ice will be on the rink by the first week of December.

"This is definitely something we need," Wadena Hockey Association Vice President Matt Lunde said.

Hammers Construction of Perham will be putting up a 120 by 260 foot steel building on the site of the former Wadena Area Community Center. The new facility will not include a fitness area as the former community center facility did.

The former facility was largely destroyed by an EF4 tornado that hit Wadena June 17, 2010. While the rink was left intact there was no shelter for players and fans during the 2010-2011 hockey season. Some games were held on the outdoor rink. High school home games were played in Long Prairie.

The $668,000 building is being constructed by the Wadena Community Center Board which will hold title to the property. The Wadena Hockey Association will rent ice time. The WDC boys' high school hockey team and the Long Prairie-Grey Eagle/Wadena-Deer Creek girls' hockey team will also have use of the local facility.

"We're real excited," Wadena Community Center Board President John Paulson said. "We felt this was a real need."