Recreation Committee, January 2019

March 3rd, 2019  |  Published in Observer Reports

Jan. 16, 2019

Present: Tres Roeder, Council member and chair; Terri Breeden, Deputy Director of Curriculum for the school district; Troy Neujahr, citizen member; Alexandria Nichols, Director of Recreation; Jeri Chaikin, Chief Administrative Officer; and David Weiss, Mayor

Mr. Roeder called the meeting to order at 6 p.m.

The minutes of the November 2018 meeting were approved as written. 

Only one item of business was on the evening’s agenda.

Thornton Park Ice Rink Study Presentation  

Ms. Nichols presented the results of a 2018 study and evaluation of the Thornton Park Ice Rink.

Goal of the project was to understand existing conditions and plan for future community needs. Four different firms with decades of building assessment and rink design-and-build experience worked on the study. Engineer Tim Pool was present to help with the presentation. 

All major systems were evaluated: electrical, mechanical, structural, HVAC, public spaces, and office spaces. More specifically, the rink study looked at the ice rink and refrigeration systems, the mechanical systems, the electrical systems, the architecture/design and how the facility is used, the structural systems and parking walkways, and the building exterior.

The three-sided rink opened in 1969, with a fourth wall added in 1972. A lobby expansion was done in 1987.

Current challenges include an aging infrastructure, limited locker room space, limited community meeting space, inconvenient concessions location, and changing community needs. The approach to the facility in recent years has been to repair and replace rather than improve. A PowerPoint with lots of visuals highlighted the challenges.

The PowerPoint also highlighted recommendations, including a two-page list of Repair and Replace and Aesthetic or Optional upgrades. Those were prioritized by code requirements, safety-related items, facility management improvements, operational efficiencies, and aesthetic and optional upgrades. The rink floor has been well maintained but is slated for a complete renovation at a cost of $650,000 within the next 10 years.

The Repair and Replace list totaled $1.31 million; the Aesthetic/Optional upgrades ranged from a little over $2 million to $2.8 million.

Current annual expenses for the rink are $921,369, with revenue of $552,850. 

The committee asked a number of clarifying questions and wondered what a total replacement of the building would cost. An estimate of $4 million was suggested.

This analysis is timely for a number of reasons. First, the facility is now 50 years old and some components are nearing the end of their useful life. Second, the information will be useful for the new long-range collaborative planning process now underway with the city, the schools, and the library. One goal of that is to plan as a community for long-term facility needs.  

The meeting was adjourned at 7 p.m.

Jan Devereaux

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