Mansfield hopes to build ice skating center

The fast-growing city of Mansfield plans to use taxpayer money to building a new Dr. Pepper Stars Center.

There are differing opinions on whether the Mansfield school district should enter into an agreement to build the ice skating center with the city and the Dallas Stars.

Earlier this month the city council agreed to spend $12.6 million to the complex near the northeast corner of Highway 287 and East Broad Street.

But, the deal is dependent on Mansfield ISD agreeing to contribute $500,000 for the construction. The school district would also enter into a five-year $1.3 million contract with the Dallas Stars, giving students regular access to the facility.

Supporters of the plan have created a Facebook page that is filled with comments.

“How often is the district offered the use of a brand new, $15 million facility, for which someone else will cover the operation costs, that could benefit virtually every student and employee in the district,” said Paula Highfill.

The center would provide a big boost for youth hockey in Mansfield. Classes could also be held there, as well as regular field trips.

But opponents have also taken to Facebook.

“Any trustee that approves this program needs to seriously re-evaluate why they were elected… MISD will receive no ownership for the $500,000 given,” Jolene Marchant said.

There will be a community forum Thursday night for residents to voice their opinions. It begins at 7 p.m. at the MISD Center for the Performing Arts.

The city of Mansfield hopes to have construction complete by July 2017.

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