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Libra Foundation to build $5 million ice arena in Dover-Foxcroft

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Libra Foundation to build new ice arena in Dover-Foxcroft

DOVER-FOXCROFT — Maine’s Libra Foundation, as part of its broader efforts to rekindle new activity and investment in Piscataquis County, is constructing a state-of-the-art ice arena on property adjacent to Foxcroft Academy.

The construction project is expected to continue for the next 18 months and will result in a new community asset available to hockey enthusiasts, skaters and other groups in the area. Foxcroft Academy will operate the facility for the greater Piscataquis and central Maine regions.

Beginning in late 2016, Libra began targeting strategic projects in Piscataquis County designed to leverage growth in the areas of arts, agriculture and public recreation. Primary activities to date have centered on reconstruction of several properties in downtown Monson for use as an artist residency program.

In Dover-Foxcroft, Libra purchased a long-shuttered auto dealership on West Main Street in 2017 as the intended arena location. The new space will include an 80- by 200-foot ice rink, four locker rooms, a pro shop, administrative space, approximately 250 second-story spectator seats and a concession area. New parking areas and bus accessibility will also be constructed. Ice will be in the rink from September through March; the building floor will be available during late spring and summer months as a convention center for trade shows, concerts, and other indoor activities.

When the project is completed, the foundation’s title-holding company August Corporation will own the ice arena and neighboring Foxcroft Academy will manage the property and its public use.

“The entire Piscataquis County region is a gem for the people of our state,” said Craig Denekas, CEO of the Libra Foundation. “Towns such as Dover-Foxcroft have always led Maine in past decades due to their extraordinary natural resources and quality of life. With some renewed energy and investments, those same attributes can continue to attract families in new ways.”

“We are beyond excited for a chance to have an indoor ice arena of this magnitude in our backyard,” said Arnold Shorey, Foxcroft Academy head of school. “After seeing the plans, hearing the vision of the Libra Foundation and witnessing continued impacts going on in Monson, this opportunity steps up to the next level. We have the chance to develop a facility the entire surrounding area can use. This is a benefit not just to Foxcroft Academy, but to everyone in Piscataquis County.”

In addition to youth hockey, Libra’s President and Chief Operating Officer Jere Michelson sees great opportunities for public skating, adult hockey leagues, youth state tournaments, and potentially even new pursuits such as curling. Over time, the return of high school hockey is also possible as either a stand-alone Foxcroft Academy team or as a cooperative team with other local schools such the arrangements in Old Town/Orono and Waterville/Winslow.

“The lynch pin to success is a close working relationship we’ve developed with both the board and administrators of Foxcroft Academy,” Michelson said. “The academy is committed to a vision that is highly aligned with ours, which in turn brings the overall project into sharp focus quickly.”

Michelson, who heads the foundation’s arena planning efforts, estimates the total facility cost to be in the range of $5 million, all of which will be privately funded by the Libra Foundation. It is expected that facility operating costs will be offset by rental revenue and ongoing support for some period of time.

“We feel the support will be there,” Michelson said. “The academy has a 195-year track record of strong management and it has been organizing youth sports for years. So it will be interesting to see it grow.”

Shorey concurred, “While Foxcroft Academy will manage all day to day operations of the arena, this is truly a community arena. We plan to meet with local citizens, brainstorm with others and develop programs and schedules that will work for the many who want to use this extraordinary new facility.”

Anthony DeRice of Maine-based DeRice Consulting, LLC serves as construction manager for the project.

Photo courtesy of Foxcroft Academy
LIBRA FOUNDATION TO CONSTRUCT ICE ARENA IN DOVER-FOXCROFT — The Libra Foundation, as part of its broader efforts to rekindle new activity and investment in Piscataquis County, is constructing a state-of-the-art ice arena on property adjacent to Foxcroft Academy on West Main Street in Dover-Foxcroft. The construction project is expected to continue for the next 18 months and will result in a new community asset available to hockey enthusiasts, skaters and other groups in the area. Foxcroft Academy will operate the facility for the greater Piscataquis and central Maine regions.

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