The Illinois hockey community wishes to express their sincere condolences to the family of Nicholas Papanicholas, Sr. of Mount Prospect, Illinois who passed away recently. Nick Sr. was the guiding force behind the building of the recently opened two-sheet ice facility in Mt. Prospect. Nick always had a vision to give back to the community and this was a chance to build the ice arena providing not only the hockey community but also the entire city of Mt. Prospect and surrounding communities with a state-of-the-art recreational facility. Nick Sr. was passionate about providing an opportunity for any youngster to play ice hockey, especially those kids with a disability. He made sure the ice rink was very accessible even putting in sled accessible boards.
The construction of the Mt. Prospect Ice Arena began with the first shovel in the ground on February 8, 2016 and the doors opened to the arena on August 15, 2016. The achievement of building a two-sheet facility with a pro shop, restaurant and all of the other amenities in just six months was a remarkable feat. Nick Sr. was able to guide this to reality due in large part by being the founder and President of Nicholas and Associates, Inc., Architectural Door Solutions, Inc. With a small construction opportunity in 1978, Nick took his vision and turned it into a multi-million dollar construction enterprise, building schools, churches, park and recreation, and municipal projects throughout Illinois and Wisconsin. From 2006 thru 2016 he led his firm to the top of the K-12 construction industry, handling all construction and capital needs for over 35 local school districts. He was a brilliant businessman, whose practicality, indefatigability and vision could take the smallest idea and execute it.
As vast as his business accomplishments were, his persona was even more so. He had a magnetic personality. He was a great story-teller, who could effortlessly entertain a room full of people with his jokes and his ability to find the humor in any situation. He was a friend to all, and a friend for life. He was just a “regular” guy who treated people with respect and compassion. An extremely kind and generous man, giving was Nick’s thing. His life’s mantra was “If you give it away it all comes back ten-fold”, and he spent every minute giving every inch of his being to those around him. Anyone who knew him, loved him. Anyone who loved him, wanted to be near him. He was the rock of the family and will be sorely missed by all.
Thousands of youngsters will enjoy his new ice rink over the next several decades and that, in and of itself, is quite a legacy. We are so happy he was able to see it to completion.