Rather than in late August as originally planned, the process of replacing the Kiwanis Ice Arena’s walls and deteriorating roof will likely begin in “later September,” according to an email to town Parks and Buildings Supervisor Greg Chorvas from a representative from contractor Legacy Building Solutions. The completion date for the project, the email stated, will “bump up against” the original target date of Nov. 16.
When the Saugerties Town Board voted to approve the project on June 12, officials said that construction would begin in July and be finished by September. The bill for the entire renovation is estimated at $1.3 million.
Chorvas said that of this total, ex-assemblyman Pete Lopez secured a grant for $100,000 to the town and another $300,000 had been secured by state Sen. George Amedore. Some $100,000 was set aside last year by the board into the town’s recreation trust fund for the project, funds from Kiwanis would be utilized and that small amounts were being donated regularly by ice rink users toward the project. Also, $500,000 of the total will be financed via serial bonds that, according to the wording of the resolution passed on June 12, will be “repa[id] … from a combination of funds appropriated for the benefit of the town by the state legislature (or “State Funds”), and facility fees from the new arena and other town ventures. Should these funding sources fall through, the resolution specifies that the money will have to come from town taxpayers.
Chorvas has said he hopes that, through state grants and the sale of the reclaimed steel trusses from the original arena structure, local taxpayers can be taken off the hook.
“We want the revenues from the rink to pay the yearly payment [of $100,000] over the next five years. we don’t want to burden the taxpayers,” said Chorvas.
The news of delays will no doubt come without welcome to parents who expressed earlier this summer fears that a holdup could eat into ice time for the arena’s numerous programs.
“We felt it was important for us to be here to ensure that everyone involved in the decision is aware of the impact of the decision on our youth athletes. Our families have made a decision to stick with us, even with the uncertainty around this project,” said Saugerties Youth Hockey Association president Mark Signore at the June 12 meeting, speaking on behalf of dozens of young hockey players, ice skaters and their families who came out to the meeting. “If this project is delayed or voted down, these families will be forced to find another organization — one lost season would completely destroy a program that so many would help to do.”
All set to go
Chorvas said this week preparations for the project are already complete, and that now it’s just a matter of waiting. The structure will be prefabricated and sent to Saugerties in parts.
“We have all our work done — we removed what was salvageable,” he said. “We had to remove all the lighting, the speakers, etc., that’s been happening over the last couple of months and we’re complete now. We poured concrete, we opted to pour a concrete rim around the base of it instead of going for pressure-treated lumber. Even though it was pressure treated after almost 20 years it was started to deteriorate.”
The next upgrade for the arena will take the form of a new chiller; Chorvas wants to switch from a water-cooled system to an air-cooled ammonia chiller, which he said will come with significant energy savings. The estimated price tag for this upgrade is $500,000; this phase of the arena’s makeover will come later.