Rink expansion in Alexandria scores another goal

PrimeWest Health agreed to provide $1,425,000 – the biggest donation yet – in exchange for naming rights at the Runestone Community Center.

RCC Exterior Concept.jpg
This is a conceptual drawing of what the new west entrance to the Runestone Community Center could look like after the expansion project.
Drawing courtesy of 292 Design Group

ALEXANDRIA – More money is coming in to support the expansion of the Runestone Community Center.

PrimeWest Health agreed to provide $1,425,000 – the biggest donation yet – in exchange for exclusive interior and exterior naming rights for 15 years from the completion of the project.

The city unanimously approved the agreement at its Monday meeting, March 13.

The memorandum notes that PrimeWest Health’s mission is to help its members achieve healthier, fuller lives by improving their health care experience and population health and advancing health equity through a unique county-based ability to coordinate the delivery of cost-effective health care, human services and community resources.

PrimeWest Health, now in its 20th year, is owned by 24 rural Minnesota counties. It currently serves 64,000 members — 6,000 of them in Douglas County. The Alexandria office includes 175 employees.


An agreement with specifics on the naming rights will be prepared when final design is completed. The name of the facility hasn't been determined yet, but could, for example, be called PrimeWest Community Center.

City leaders said PrimeWest Health’s support is an important step toward the completion of the project.

PrimeWest Health CEO Jim Przybilla told the council that it was a privilege to support the expansion. "We're excited," he said. "This will provide a lot of good for our youth and the community for years to come."

Last month, the city approved two naming rights agreements – $325,000 from Bremer Bank for the East Arena and $300,000 from Hilltop Lumber for Arena 3, the new floor area. Both of those agreements are for 10 years.

Meanwhile, the RCC Capital Campaign Committee is continuing its work toward raising $8.8 million through sponsorships and private donations. The goal is to break ground in 2024.

“There’s tremendous momentum behind this project and it’s really gratifying to see the amazing local support,” said Kent Kopp, chair of the Capital Campaign Committee in a news release. “We’re thankful to PrimeWest Health for making this significant investment in our community and demonstrating their strong commitment to the people of Alexandria and the surrounding area.”

Kopp added the RCC is an important year-round economic driver for Alexandria, drawing people to the community with both its ice and dry-floor events. At its current size, however, it can't maximize the opportunities or meet the increased demand to host events such as hockey tournaments, figure skating competitions, curling events, graduations, home shows and trade shows, Kopp said.

Pryzbilla commented further on the project in a news release: “The RCC for decades has been an instrumental part of keeping people in the Alexandria area active. We look forward to how this expansion project will better support the health and wellness of people in our community including PrimeWest members now and in the future.”


Front Burner Sports is negotiating the naming rights on the city’s behalf.

The total cost of the project is $20 million. The city has agreed to contribute $5.6 million to the expansion, matching the state’s $5.6 million contribution that was part of the state Legislature’s 2020 bonding bill .

The new facility will connect to the center's two other buildings on its southern sides. It will feature a skating rink – which can be converted to accommodate dry floor events – locker rooms, a lobby, viewing areas, offices, an elevator for accessibility, community and physical rooms and a walking track that circles the upper level of the rink.

According to a study conducted by James Feist, former executive director of Explore Alexandria Tourism, the expanded RCC facility with all of its amenities will attract visitors and bring Alexandria an economic boost of $2 million annually.

To learn more about the RCC Expansion Project, including how to make a pledge, see the RCC Capital Campaign page on the City of Alexandria website . Donors who contribute $500 or more will have the opportunity to be recognized on a donor wall in the RCC. For questions about the project, contact Marty Schultz, city administrator, at or (320) 759-3629.

(This story was edited to include additional comments from Jim Przybilla and Kent Copp.)

Al Edenloff is the editor of the twice-weekly Echo Press. He started his journalism career when he was in 10th grade, writing football and basketball stories for the Parkers Prairie Independent.
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