Last week, it was learned that DC government was considering reallocating $21 million of funding which had been previously committed to Fort Dupont Ice Arena to renovate their current facility as well as build a new two-rink facility nearby. Fort Dupont has long served the Southeast DC community by providing many free and reduced-cost programs like Kids on Ice, which teaches kids to skate.
Public support swelled for Fort Dupont. A GoFundMe campaign was started to help raise funds for the renovation. The Leonsis family, the NHL, and Monumental Sports Entertainment each donated $100,000 to the campaign.
The vote on the decision was to take place Tuesday at a DC City Council meeting, but on Monday evening it appears that an agreement has been reached.
— Friends of Fort Dupont Ice Arena (@FriendsofFDIA) February 5, 2019
Friends of Fort Dupont sent out the following email on Monday night.
To all Ft. Dupont Ice Arena supporters:
WE HAVE GREAT NEWS TO SHARE. And before we get to that, please help us spread the word that people SHOULD NOT GO TO TUESDAY’S DC CITY COUNCIL MEETING, because the vote to save FDIA’s new rink $$$ has been pulled from the agenda. Instead, Council Chairman Mendelson has scheduled another meeting on Feb. 19, giving our rink team and District officials time to meet, agree on an appropriate new design for our upgraded 2-rink facility that is within budget, confirm FDIA’s fundraising commitment and schedule, and nail down a schedule to appropriate the needed funds and break ground. And going forward, Ft. Dupont’s experienced team will have a role in overseeing the project.
YOU DID IT! THANK YOU, from the bottom of our hearts, for your unwavering support for our Kids On Ice programs, our mission to bring opportunities to all DC neighborhoods, and — most importantly — to OUR KIDS (past, present, and future)!
We will send more information after we clear this initial planning period. In the meantime, please thank Chairman Mendelson, Councilmember Gray, and even the Mayor for coming together to support a worthy project that will make our City proud and give all children a chance to learn, thrive, and succeed … on and off the ice!
Warmly, your Fort Dupont Ice Arena family
Previously, Friends of Fort Dupont Ice Arena had asked its supporters to attend Tuesday’s DC City Council meeting to voice their opinions to DC council members.
Help is still needed to raise the $5 million of private funding Fort Dupont is responsible for, but securing public funding is a major step.
Headline photo: NHL
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