Proposed ice rink keeps skating ahead

Posted: Monday, February 04, 2002

A name has been selected. The refrigeration equipment has been picked out. And ads for a rink manager are running.

Work on the Treadwell Arena in Douglas is moving forward, according to city Engineering Director John Stone. If plans stay on schedule, people should be skating at Juneau's only indoor ice rink in October, he said.

"Depending on how long it takes to get the building up, we expect to start freezing the ice in the middle of September. It takes a couple of weeks to get ready," he said.

Jensen Yorba Lott is scheduled to turn over the ice rink design to the city by the end of this week, architect Wayne Jensen said. A contract should be in place by mid-March and construction should start at Savikko Park in Douglas soon after, he said.

The city already has awarded a contract for the rink's refrigeration system, Stone said. CIMCO Refrigeration - the preferred ice rink equipment supplier for the National Hockey League - and Mike's Refrigeration of Juneau were selected to provide and install the equipment, he said.

The arena will be open year-round. During the summer, basketball, tennis and in-line skating will replace the ice, city Parks and Recreation Director Kim Kiefer said. Her department is advertising for a rink manager.

"We wanted to get a person on board early when construction was still going on because there are a lot of start-up rink needs," she said.

The $3 million project is split into two phases, and Kiefer is still writing grants to fund the second phase of the construction. The $2.5 million first phase will include the ice, dasher boards and rest rooms. The second phase will build locker rooms, a concession area and a paved driveway, Stone said.

"It's basically just a metal building. It's a bare-bones facility," Stone said. "It will be completely adequate to have youth and adult skating programs."

The rink, which will charge admission, will be constructed over existing tennis and basketball courts at Savikko Park. The Douglas Advisory Board, which has supported the rink, has asked the city to consider installing replacement courts for free use, according to member Bob Isaac. People who picnic in the park often use the courts for pick-up games, he said.

"We think something ought to be free," he said.

Kiefer said a tight project budget doesn't leave room for new courts. If the city or other groups can find funds, it remains a possibility, she said.

"In the interim, we recommend that people use the covered play area at Gastineau School," she said. "It has basketball courts and is better protected from the elements."

Juneau's Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee last month officially recommended naming the ice rink the Treadwell Arena at the request of the Douglas Fourth of July Committee. The name will go to the Juneau Assembly for consideration.

Sandy Williams said the Douglas Fourth of July Committee always has referred to the rink as the Treadwell Arena, after the mines that operated from 1882 to 1917 near present-day Sandy Beach. The committee funded the ice rink design and has advocated for the project.

"We wanted something to commemorate the centennial year of celebrating Fourth of Julys in Douglas," he said.

Joanna Markell can be reached at joannam@juneauempire.com.



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