SAUK RAPIDS -- Sports Arena East in Sauk Rapids is wrapping up a more than $200-thousand investment which should improve the air quality and ice surface this winter.

Manager Todd Gunderson says they bought a new ice-resurfacing machine, automated their exhaust fan system and installed a new dehumidifier system. He says it will take up to 20 gallons of water out of the air per hour. That's a reduction of 40-50% from last year when there was as much as 90% humidity in the air.

Gunderson says not only will it keep the steel beams from rusting, it will also make it feel warmer for fans. Gunderson says by reducing the humidity in the arena, it will allow them to run the overhead heaters more often, making it warmer for the fans.

The cost of the project was split among the arena's operating budget, Granite City Lumberjacks, the Sauk Rapids high school team and Sauk Rapids youth hockey.