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ARLINGTON, VA-Construction of the a new public ice rink that will also be the practice facility for local National Hockey League team the Washington Capitals has begun. A joint endeavor of Arlington County and the Washington Capitals, the 137,000-sf complex will cost an estimated $43 million, with the county footing the bill through bonds sales and then leasing the space to the Capitals.

The facility will not only be the site of the hockey team’s new training center, but it will also serve as a locale for amateur hockey, figure skating, meetings and special events. “This is a unique project epitomizing our smart growth principles,” says Jay Fisette, Arlington board chairman.

The complex will make its home on a newly developed level crowning the existing seven-story Ballston Public Garage at the corner of N. Glebe Road and N. Randolph Street, adjacent to the Ballston Common Mall. When all is said and done, which county officials expect will be in August 2006, the facility will feature two league-size ice rinks; a 20,000-sf training center with a fitness room, medical facilities, locker room, lounge areas and a video room. It will also have enough administrative office space to accommodate the team’s complete front-office staff. The Capitals organization will oversee the complex’s operations and community activities.

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