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Ice Arena renovations have started PDF Print E-mail
Written by By KEVIN GORDON Sentinel Assistant Sports Editor   
Wednesday, 05 May 2010 09:22
The old curling area of the ice arena. 4/29/10 (Photo: J.D. Pooley/Sentinel-Tribune)
Renovations to the BGSU Ice Arena have started.
A $4 million face-lift of the 45-year-old facility started March 29 and will take about five months to complete.
The major highlights of the project are the replacement of the arena's ice-making equipment, new lighting for the main sheet of ice, turning the studio ice into four new locker rooms and making the curling rink a multi-purpose sheet suitable for hockey, figure skating and public skating.
The main sheet of ice is expected to be ready for use by the middle of August, arena director Jeff Crawford said.
The multi-purpose sheet should be ready by the middle of September and maybe as early as Sept. 1.
The project is being funded with state and university money.
"It makes us viable," Crawford said of the project. "It puts us on more even footing with other area facilities for what we have to offer. It takes some pressure off of the main sheet and gets other activities on the multi-purpose sheet. It's an exciting time to see us take a step forward."
Construction of the arena started in the spring of 1965 and the building was dedicated Feb. 25, 1967. Some of the arena's equipment is the original equipment.
"From a community standpoint and growing up in the building, it's exciting again to see that we're going to look other rinks," Crawford said. "We're not going to look like a tired building.
We're hoping that when people walk into the building, although in this phase of the renovation, we're not doing a lot of cosmetic changes, we hope there's at least somewhat of a wow factor when you walk in the doors. There's going to be a difference in the building and a different feel to the building. It's an exciting time."
Area where new locker rooms will be installed. This was where the old practice rink was located. 4/29/10 (Photo: J.D. Pooley/Sentinel-Tribune)
The renovation of the curling sheet will see the reduction of the curling lanes from four to three to allow for the installation of glass and boards for hockey. The rink will be 150 feet by 56. The main sheet is 200 by 85.
The spectator area for curling is being eliminated to make room for the hockey rink and three entrances to that rink.
The last entrance at the west end of the curling area will be a garage-type door that will allow for a Zamboni to drive across the lobby from the skate shop to make ice on the multi-purpose sheet.
Crawford said most smaller rinks don't have bleachers, although a spectator area maybe be included once the project is finished. Spectators will be able to watch from the lounge.
The new rink will primarily be used by younger teams, but does allow for use by the Falcon hockey team and high school hockey teams.
Crawford said the arena is planning to use the rink for 3-on-3 leagues, pond hockey leagues, and public skating.
The studio sheet of ice has been removed and will be replaced by four locker rooms will give the arena six true locker rooms. The two existing rooms will be given a face-lift as well, and a storage room that was turned into a locker room will go back to being a storage area.
Not including the Falcon hockey locker room, the arena has only three true locker rooms - one that is shared by youth teams, visiting college hockey teams and the Falcon baseball team; and two regular locker rooms across from the studio viewing area. The storage room doesn't have bathrooms or showers.
Arenas should have a 4-1 locker room to sheet of ice ratio - two for the teams on the ice and two for the next two teams waiting to come on, he said.
When the BGHS hockey team plays regular-season tournament games, it has to start in the storage room and finish in the visiting varsity room. The players' clothes and personal belongings are moved via cart by arena employees after the game starts.
Crawford added girls who play on boys teams have to dress in a bathroom when they play in the arena.
"It just keeps teams together and gives us a lot more flexibility. It'll be a lot nicer for everyone," he said.
Some teams have to dress in the compressor hallway, too.
The arena's compressors, chillers, condensers, dehumidifiers and boilers will be replaced.
"Those are things nobody is going to see, but they're items that are in much need of replacement," Crawford said.
A new gutter system is being installed and the lower roof will be replaced.
The white trim on the exterior of the roof also is being examined while the gutters are being replaced. The new gutter system and masonry cleaning will help improve the outside appearance of the building, Crawford said.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 05 May 2010 08:43

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