Saugerties ice arena roof to be replaced by fall

The roof replacement of the Kiwanis ice arena is scheduled for completion in the beginning of August. Engineering firm Praetorius & Conrad was given the go-ahead to complete the specifications at the last town board meeting of 2017. The project was proposed by parks and buildings superintendent Greg Chorvas in March of last year.

The replacement of the entire building as suggested by Chorvas back in March, according to him, “wasn’t the cost-effective way to go.” It could have cost over a million dollars. The roof replacement, he estimates, will cost somewhere in the vicinity of $500,000.

“Currently we have a polyethylene cover [for the arena],” said Chorvas. “When it was put on back in 2003, the ultraviolet protection and fire retardant protection was basically sprayed into the polyethylene fabric at the factory. That is starting to break down. Those covers had a lifespan of ten to 15 years, and we’re entering our 18th season.”

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Over a period of time, as the UV protection breaks down, a process called pixelation, the fabric will deteriorate as well, said Chorvas. “Then what happens is that the structural integrity will be jeopardized.”

PVC panels that utilize the existing trusses will be installed instead. “Unlike the polyethylene, the UV and fire-retardant protection is not sprayed into the panels,” explained Chorvas. “The nature of PVC, it’s incorporated within it. [Its] lifespan is 25 to 30 years.”

With the help of former assemblyman Pete Lopez, the town procured a $100,000 grant through the state Dormitory Authority for the project. Two other grants are pending, Chorvas also hopes to secure further funding from state senator George Amedore.

Some $100,000 is available from subdivision fees for recreational projects. The Kiwanis Club of Saugerties has put aside $70,000 for the project. “There’s been a beehive of building activity going on, and the amount of subdivision fees and revenue sources has been better than it has been in a number of years,” said Chorvas. “When we see that kind of growth, we know it is good for the economy.”

Chorvas hopes that the project can begin in April. “When the bids are submitted, the engineer has to make sure that what the company is quoting us on is to the bid specifications to our structure,” he said. “There have been numerous times over many, many years that we’ve had to reject bids and rebid. Hopefully that doesn’t happen and we can award the bid in late march early April, so that when we’re ready to start ice season in the beginning of August we’ll be ready to go.”

At the December meeting, the town board also authorized the installation in the arena of LiveBarn, a broadcasting system that will allow parents to watch their children competing in ice events live with a subscription. According to Chorvas, games will be recorded and could be sent to others. For instance, it could be an additional resource for parents to provide to college recruiters. This technological add-on will be paid for entirely by LiveBarn at no cost to the town, and will be installed within six to twelve weeks.

“I’m not overly optimistic that we’ll have it this year for the high-school hockey championships, but we’ll definitely have it in place for the start of next season,” said Chorvas.

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