Courtesy of the Golden Knights
Friday, April 21, 2017 | 5 p.m.
Construction for the Vegas Golden Knights’ Summerlin practice facility is on track for the projected August opening, and possibly even ahead of schedule according to the president of the construction company.
Golden Knights executives and Clark County commissioners gathered today for a “topping off” ceremony as the construction crew placed the final beam atop the facility.
“This moment typically represents being halfway done, but we are more than halfway done,” said Darren Gillett, President and CEO of Gillett Construction. “We might even be a little ahead of schedule.”
Gillett, Golden Knights Senior Vice President Murray Craven and commissioners Steve Sisolak and Susan Brager all signed the white beam with a marker.
“I can’t thank the Golden Knights enough,” Sisolak said. “They have changed the landscape of this community and will always be our first major professional team. We stand by ready to do whatever we can to help bring this thing to the finish line.”
While Craven, who is supervising the project, isn’t as bold as Gillett in claiming construction is ahead of schedule, he is confident the Golden Knights will be able to hold their inaugural training camp there in September. Crews are working six days a week, he said.
“We are confident that we’ll be ready,” Craven said. “We will certainly have ice in here by then. That’s not going to be a problem because we’ll have ice in here by early August.”
The team will hold its rookie training camp the week following the entry draft on June 23-24 at the Las Vegas Ice Center. That would be a possible backup plan if the practice facility wasn’t completed in time for early September but all signs point to it being done.
“If you miss one day and don’t come through here, when you come back the next day and so much more is done,” said Brad Sholl, general manager of the practice facility. “Now you can finally get a feel for how everything is going to lay out and how it’s going to look.”
Sholl managed the Toyota Sports Center, the practice facility for the Los Angeles Kings, before coming to Las Vegas. He has seen practice facilities from all around the NHL and says the Golden Knights may have the best when it’s finished.
“When Mr. Craven first showed me the drawings I immediately noticed how everything is laid out perfectly,” Sholl said. “The flow of a practice facility is so important and I think he did his homework as far as going around to all of the good facilities and picking the best parts of them and leaving the worst parts out.”
The 146,000-square-foot facility will have the best amenities in the league.
“Every facility that I’ve been in has some flaws but so far from what I’ve seen this one doesn’t,” Sholl said. “Once you’re open you’ll start noticing things but as of now everything here looks like it will work perfectly.”
There’s still plenty of work to be done at the facility, but the roof is finally on and the building is starting to take shape. Before we know it the Golden Knights will be skating on the rinks.
“Pretty much everything about the building excites me but what really excites me is once we open watching our programs and everything grow,” Sholl said. “That’s what I envision. I’m so confident that we will be able to deliver to the community and to Las Vegas what we have been promising.”