Cost of ice rink: $2.8m

New estimate from group somewhat less than earlier city figure

Posted: Sunday, February 04, 2001

Build an ice rink right now that includes it all - from Zamboni to ad space on dasher boards to a sound system to scoreboards to rental skates - and it will cost about $2.8 million. That's the preliminary estimate of the Ice Skating Working Group, which met Friday to hash out what things cost.

Attending the session were City Engineer John Stone, architect Wayne Jensen, Parks and Recreation Director Kim Kiefer, Juneau Assembly member Jim Powell, Juneau Economic Development Council Executive Director Lance Miller and Sandy Williams of the Douglas Fourth of July Committee.

Powell emphasized the preliminary nature of the figures and the fact that the project will likely be built in two or three phases, with the first phase "absolutely bare-bones - roof, ice and toilets." And if that costs too much, he said, the project might even go with portable toilets. "I think that's what the voters wanted and that's what we're delivering."

"The figures also don't take into consideration corporate contributions and volunteer work, which we anticipate," Powell said.

Juneau voters decided last fall to renew the city's 1 percent sales tax, the proceeds of which the assembly earmarked for Bartlett Regional Hospital expansion, school renovation and construction of an ice rink in Savikko Park. Of the total proceeds, $1.1 million is slated for rink construction. The project has also received $250,000 from proceeds of an earlier ballot measure as well as $50,000 raised by the Douglas Fourth of July Committee.

Rink backers initially estimated the $1.4 million total would be enough to build a bare-bones rink. City officials later raised the estimate to more than $3 million.

Kiefer presented the committee Friday with scenarios for operating hours. One would open the rink for 86 hours a week for 39 weeks during the first year, for a total of 3,354 hours. On this schedule, classes of various types would be held from 8 a.m. to noon; open skating from noon to 2 p.m.; after-school skating from 2:30-4:30 p.m.; open skate from 4:30-6:30 p.m.; classes from 7-9 p.m.; and rentals from 9 p.m.-midnight.

The second scenario, likely to be implemented in Year 2, would open the rink at 6 a.m. and provide the community with 122 hours a week for 39 weeks, for an annual total of 4,758.

The committee also plans to survey the community to find out how residents envision using the rink, Miller said.

"We want to know what programs they'll use, how many times they'll use them, what they think of hockey lessons," he said. "We've tried to make it real simple."

Residents will also be asked how often they think they or their groups might use the rink at a cost of $100 an hour.

Miller said the poll will take place later this week.

Committee members are preparing estimates of operational costs, staff requirements and the cost of phased construction for their next meeting, Powell said.

Fernand Chandonnet can be reached at fchandonnet@juneau

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