The Barron Youth Hockey program began back in 1968. The first playing area was located at the local elementary school with snow banks used as a barrier to help keep the puck on the rink.
In 1969, the Barron Kiwanis Club donated funds and volunteer labor to construct the hockey program's first set of wood rink boards. At that time, the playing area was moved to the Barron High School baseball field. The following spring, the ice did not melt in time to utilize the field for the start of high school baseball and resulted in the high school having us move the hockey rink back to the elementary school site.
In 1980, the hockey program created its first ice resurfacer. It consisted of a Ford tractor with two 55-gallon barrels hooked up on the back to sprinkle water. This tractor was driven back and forth to the local creamery for hot water to be spread over the ice. It worked reasonably well except the tractor unit could not scrape ice or pick up any snow/ice shavings. A garage built out of town was moved to the rink to house the tractor and the first player's boxes were also added. We utilized a photo timer clock for keeping game time until the hockey association received an old high school scoreboard, but that did not work very well in the cold winter weather.
In 1982, the Barron City Council approved the moving of the rink to a location owned by the City behind the Barron Middle School. This was our outdoor rink location for over 20 years. The City also agreed to provide $12,000 for materials to construct a warming house at the new location.
In 1983, Barron Kiwanis Club again built new hockey boards for the Barron Youth Hockey Association. Hockey association volunteers built the new warming house and the lights were moved from the old rink to the new outdoor rink.
A new scoreboard was purchased in 1985 and placed above the player's bench. Also that year a Zamboni ice resurfacing unit that could be attached to the Ford tractor was purchased and hauled back from Canada.
In March of 1991, the Barron Youth Hockey Association went before the Barron City Council and requested permission for the association to construct an addition to the existing warming house. The addition would consist of an expanded concession area, locker rooms, and a heated viewing area. Approval was given with the understanding that construction would not begin until enough funds had been raised to complete the project. The new addition was completed in time for the start of our home hockey season.
On September 7, 1994, Barron Youth Hockey Association incorporated to become Barron Youth Hockey Association, Inc., a charitable tax-exempt organization under the United States Internal Revenue Code as described in section 501(c)(3).
In 1999, Barron Youth Hockey Association members agreed to proceed toward the development of an indoor ice facility due to the mild winters that had significantly reduced the hockey program's home hockey season. It was becoming increasingly difficult to find teams willing to schedule games with our teams due to the reliability of outdoor ice and their preference to play other indoor ice teams. Thus began the process of promoting the proposed indoor ice facility and assessing the level of community support.
In January of 2001, Sterling Bank agreed to donate $150,000 to be paid over five years toward the proposed indoor ice facility if Barron Youth Hockey could raise matching funds from the community. Shortly thereafter, the City of Barron agreed to contribute $100,000 to be paid over the first five years and another $50,000 to be paid over the following five years. The total project cost was initially estimated at $950,000. Northwest Builders, Inc. from Rice Lake, WI was selected as general contractor for a 120' X 240' building. The City of Barron then proposed to donate a building site just north of the upper dam in the city when it was determined that the existing site of the outdoor rink was unsuitable for the new indoor ice facility. In the spring of 2001, the proposed site offered by the City was determined to be unsuitable when unseasonably high water flooded a good portion of the building site. A four-acre site was then purchased for $18,000 from Barron County next to the new Justice Center after a failed attempt at a land swap. Excavation, footings and frost walls for the new building were completed in November of 2001 after pledges were converted to cash. By the end of 2001, an additional $340,000 in pledges and cash had been raised from individuals and local businesses.
In January of 2002, the structural steel was ordered for the building and its erection began that February. In the spring of 2002 the Barron Area School District prepaid a 20 year lease agreement in the amount of $100,000 to cover ice rental for the high school hockey program and school usage of the facility outside of the hockey season. By the fall of 2002, the youth were skating indoors on refrigerated ice.
Since 2002, interior finishing has continued with many hours of volunteer labor from the association and community members as additional funds have been raised. After funds in excess of $1,100,000 were raised from over 270 contributors, the facility was debt free on January 31, 2005. In 2005, a permanent bleacher system was constructed and in June of 2006, the parking lot was paved. Also, a locker room for the high school players was completed in the fall of 2006 from funds raised by the Barron Blue Line Cub.