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Recreation complex targeted for O’Fallon area

Illinois Business Journal report
p10 rec-complex    O’FALLON — A new recreation complex that would be a big boost to local hockey players is part of a mixed-used commercial development being targeted for a 45-acre site at the corner of Scott Troy Road and Highway 50, a developer says.
    Real estate developer Dean Oelze said he is proposing the development to the City of O’Fallon. It will be called The Four Points Center.
    The project will consist of recreational, retail, professional and hospitality-oriented businesses and will be anchored by the developer’s proposed recreational facility, McKendree Metro Rec Plex. This public facility will include two NHL-sized ice rinks, aquatic center, fitness area, and associated amenities.
    McKendree Metro Rec Plex is expected to serve as a regional hub to host swimming, hockey and ice skating tournaments. The facility and its amenities will be open to the public with the purchase of a membership or daily admission.
    The aquatic center will include a competition pool with dive area and a zero-entry recreation pool. The recreation pool will also have four practice lanes and will be utilized for water aerobics classes and swim lessons. The fitness area will include a half court gymnasium, free weights, a walking track, and numerous pieces of cardio equipment. The sports complex will also have party rooms and conference facilities available for birthday parties or company retreats.
    “The Four Points Center and McKendree Metro Rec Plex would be a wonderful addition to our city and community,” said Mayor Gary L. Graham, City of O’Fallon. “We look forward to working with Dean Oelze and seeing this development move from an idea to a reality.”
    Core users of the McKendree Metro Rec Plex include McKendree University and the Southern Illinois IceHawks,  youth hockey organization for players ages 5-18, representing southern Illinois communities including O’Fallon, Shiloh, Belleville, Swansea, Fairview, Mascoutah, and many others. In addition to practicing and playing games, local teams intend to host tournaments at the sports complex.
    “We are very excited to bring Southern Illinois IceHawks hockey back home to our communities and would like to thank the St. Louis Blues for sharing Scottrade Center with us this and past seasons, allowing youth hockey to remain strong in our area. We look forward to making this new rink our permanent home going forward,” said Pat McLeod, president of the Southern Illinois IceHawks.
    “A new, two-sheet facility will allow SIIH to restart Learn to Skate and Learn to Play programs. These programs are the gateway to introducing children to ice-related sports, which they currently have limited access to.”
    McKendree University will use the facility to host their existing men’s hockey team as well as a new women’s team and a second men’s team. These teams will practice, play, and host tournaments at the sports complex.
The aquatic center will become the home of future water sports at McKendree University.
    These new sports will include swimming, diving, water polo, and synchronized swimming. The pool is expected to regularly host regional swimming and diving events at the collegiate and club level. The facility will also serve as a year-round facility for competitive swimming programs for all ages.
    “We are very excited about the McKendree Metro Rec Plex and the many opportunities it will provide McKendree University to expand and develop women’s and men’s NCAA water sports, and ice hockey programs. In addition, the Rec Plex will allow us to offer a wide variety of recreational activities to our students, faculty and staff,” said James M. Dennis, president of McKendree University. “This new venture has allowed the developer, McKendree University, the City of O’Fallon, and the Ice Hawks to partner on an important venture that will benefit all of the principle parties and the greater population in this region.”
    Construction could begin late this year, barring any complications, and is expected to take eight to 12 months. It will create numerous permanent jobs following each phase of development, as well as hundreds of temporary construction jobs.
    “We are very excited to announce the proposed location and name of the sports complex,” said Dean Oelze. “We look forward to working with the City of O’Fallon in the coming months, in order to move the project forward.”
    Oelze, of Nashville, Ill., provides real estate development and construction services, with specialization in commercial development and construction projects.

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