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Lobby to be renovated (06-15-11) PDF Print E-mail
Written by KEVIN GORDON Sentinel Assistant Sports Editor   
Wednesday, 15 June 2011 08:44
Panoramic view of ice arena. (Photo: J.D. Pooley/Sentinel-Tribune)

The lobby at the BGSU Ice Arena will undergo a face-lift this summer.
The project will include a new skate rental/skate shop area, full concession stand and staff offices.
The renovation will begin in early July and is scheduled to be completed in September. However, the main sheet of ice will remain open for use during the renovation.
The arena currently is closed for its maintenance work and to prepare for the renovation. It is scheduled to reopen July 18.
The lobby renovation originally was scheduled for last summer, arena director Jamie Baringer said.
The cost of the project was included in last summer’s $4 million renovation of the ice-making and heating, ventilation and air conditioning units, and the remaking of the curling sheet into a multi-purpose ice sheet.
Bids for the project are in the process of being awarded, Baringer said.
“We wanted to complete this last year, but we ran out of time and instead of going more into the season, we said let’s stop what we’ve done so far and then we’ll pick it back up,” she said.
The glass doors to the east of the Zamboni entrance in the lobby will be replaced with the skate rental/skate shop area, the concession stand and the administrative offices.
The lighting in the lobby will be upgraded and the arena will have 500 new pairs of rental skates.
The east and west brown doors in the lobby will be changed to glass doors, with the east door being for entrance into the main sheet and the west door being used for exiting.
“It’ll be very nice,” Baringer said. “You’ll be kind of directed kind of through the lobby to enter the main rink, so you’ll go past the skate rental, past the concession stand and acquire locker  room keys. It’ll give us a new traffic pattern. That will be the visible part from the lobby.”
The four administrative offices will be in the same area after the renovation. Baringer’s office currently in the northeast corner of the arena, while the skate shop and other offices are scattered around the arena. The skate shop is at the south end.
“I like to be where I’m needed and reached easily, Baringer said. “It’ll be nice to have everybody up front. It will improve our work functions a little bit. It’ll save some time.”
The renovated skate shop will continue to sell university apparel, some figure skating and some hockey equipment such as pads, sticks, bags, as well as tape, replacement parts for helmets, and mouth guards.  The arena also will be able to order equipment for delivery.
Baringer said the skate shop would have an entrance inside the main arena. The new areas will extend about 10 feet into the lobby, Baringer said.
The arena currently has no concession stand, although some snacks are sold at the skate shop and in vending machines located in the lobby.
“A full concession stand is something we’re lacking and it will be well received by the community, so that as you’re running from place to place, getting to  lessons and practices, and things like that,’ you’ll be able to purchase something,” Baringer said.
The concession stand will have traditional items such as hot dogs, nachos, pretzels and popcorn, as well as mini-burgers on the weekends and some breakfast items. And depending on demand, fresh fruits could be added.
Baringer also is trying to improve the arena’s sound system.
“The sound system is our No. 1 priority and we are working very diligently right now to see what can be done with that this year,” she said.
Baringer said the next major maintenance expense would be the arena’s original concrete floor. The building opened in 1967.
“There are things within an ice arena you just tend to have to replace every 20, 30 years,” Baringer said. “It’s just a sign of how old the building is. It’s not anything that anyone could have prevented. It is aging and will need to be replaced at some point.”
Baringer said no more major projects will be done unless the money is raised through the Bring Back the Glory campaign. She said naming rights could be sold for individual areas of the arena, such as the multi-purpose sheet.
Her wish list includes painting the interior of the building, a brighter ceiling inside the main arena, more insulation, external signage, an expanded press box and cosmetic changes to the exterior of the building.
“That’s all based on the fund-raising project,” Baringer said. “We will continue to do the preventative maintenance that we need to do from an operational standpoint.”
Baringer said the new ice-making equipment and HVAC units are “running wonderfully ... and that’s made for better ice and a better temperature inside the arena.”
Last Updated on Wednesday, 15 June 2011 09:47

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