Local News

The Runestone Community Center Expansion Project

RCC Expansion

When the Runestone Community Center was first built in the 70s it’s intent was to provide a space for the community for events, concerts and more. The ice rinks and hockey came along later. Now it’s 2023 and it has outgrown itself! The Runestone Community Center has big plans for expansion so that it can continue to grow with the rising demand for a venue that can do it all.

Here are some FAQ’s on the project from Kimberly Albert, Public Relations Consultant for the RCC Expansion Project. To donate click here: https://alexandriamn.city/runestone-community-center-expansion/

Special guests Mat Hennen, Operations Lead for the RCC and Kimberly Albert, PR Consultant for the RCC Capital Campaign joined us on our Pay It Forward Podcast.

Why renovate and expand the Runestone Community Center?
The Alexandria area has experienced considerable growth over the past 20 years. That has
resulted in a significant increase in demand for on-ice activities and dry-floor events. The Runestone
Community Center (RCC) is a wonderful attribute to our city, however, at its current state, it does not
maximize opportunities to host activities and events. Many groups instead use neighboring
communities, which causes us to miss out on a significant amount of revenue for local businesses
and social opportunities for the community.
What is the cost? How will it be funded?
The total cost for expansion and renovation is estimated at $20 million. The project will be funded by
a combination of sources, including the State of Minnesota, City of Alexandria and RCC Capital
Campaign. The RCC Capital Campaign Committee is working to raise $8.8 million through
sponsorships, one-time donations and multiyear pledges from individuals, businesses, and
community organizations.
Is there a timeline?
The project is broken into three phases. Phases 1 and 2 are underway. The timing and scope
of Phase 3 depends upon continued community support.
• Phase 1 will renovate of the south end of the RCC, including locker rooms, restrooms, and
upper-level support space.
• Phase 2 will expand the main lobby, relocate the concession stand and add space to the
southeast end of the building on both levels. This includes new team rooms, support space,
an elevator and improved circulation.
• Phase 3 will add a third arena for on-ice activities and dry-floor events. The goal is to include
meeting areas, training space and access to both levels. This phase is dependent upon
reaching the $8.8 million fundraising goal, of which $3.5 million already has been committed
from naming rights partnerships with PrimeWest Health, Bremer Bank and Hilltop Lumber.
Additional commitments have been made by Alexandria Area Hockey Association and
individual donors.
Will there be an economic impact?
It’s estimated a renovated, expanded RCC will generate an additional $2 million annually for local
businesses. The project will provide additional opportunities for on-ice and dry-floor events, such as
concerts, graduations, seminars, tournaments, and trade shows.
What has been the biggest challenge of fundraising efforts?
We have been incredibly lucky to have strong support from our business community, and PrimeWest
Health, Bremer Bank, Hilltop Lumber and the Alexandria Area Hockey Association have made
significant contributions to the project. However, businesses and organizations can’t do it alone. In
order to realize the full potential of the RCC Expansion Project, we need support from individuals.
Are there any common misconceptions?
One of the biggest misconceptions is that this is an “ice rink” expansion. While it certainly will benefit
curlers, figure skaters and hockey players, the community as a whole stands to benefit the most.
Simply put, a renovated and expanded RCC will draw more people to the Alexandria area for
tournaments and dry-floor events, which means more revenue for local businesses and more social
opportunities for the community.
How can individuals and businesses support the expansion project?
The easiest way to make a donation to the RCC Expansion Project is at
runestonecommunitycenter.com. Pledges can be one-time or multiyear. Donors who contribute $500
or more will have an opportunity to be recognized on a donor wall.
Are there any other insights?
This project is an important investment in our community. People came together in the late 1970s to
create the RCC, and another generation of community members expanded it in the 1990s. We all
have an opportunity – and a duty – to do our part to ensure the RCC meets the demands of today
and tomorrow. The size and scope of the Phase 3 expansion will depend in large part on the
community support of fundraising efforts.