By Jeffery Smith jsmith@the-leader.com

CORNING - The City Council is expected to accept a $150,000 donation from Corning Enterprises Monday that will help pay some of the cost of an over $1 million upgrade to the heavily used, aging Nasser Civic Center Ice Rink.

The City Council meeting will be at 6:30 p.m., at City Hall.

City Manager Mark Ryckman said phase one of the project, which will replace the aging floor and cooling system, will likely begin in April or May just after the ice rink closes, and be completed in time for the rink to reopen next winter.

“The City Council has bonded for $900,000 for that phase of the upgrades,” Ryckman said. “So that money is in place.”

Hunt Engineering is currently completing the design for the phase one work, Ryckman said. The project is expected to go out for bid in early 2018.

The $150,000 donated by Corning Enterprises will help pay for a portion of the work completed in phase two of the upgrades.

The phase two work will include upgrades to the bathrooms at the rink, provide handicap accessibility and repainting of the roof trusses, Ryckman said. That work will likely begin in the spring/summer of 2019 and be completed that fall in time for the rink to open for the winter months.

“We have applied for a $363,000 Consolidated Funding Application grant and the Crystal City Parks Foundation has pledged $3,000," Ryckman said. "That along with the $150,000 Corning Enterprises has donated will pay for that portion of the project.”

Councilman Christopher Karam, R-3, called the donation another example of the excellent private/public partnership betweens Corning Enterprises, the Crystal City Park Foundation and the City of Corning.

“I think it’s fantastic,” Karam said.

Ryckman said he is hopeful the city will receive the CFA grant.

“We should know about the state funding pretty soon,” Ryckman said. “I know the regional council ranked (the ice rink application) as one if their highest priorities, so that should put us in a good position.”

Mayor Rich Negri said major work has not been done at the rink since it was built in the late-1980s.

Chuck King, city director of Parks and Recreation Department, said the current R22 refrigeration, which allows the floor to freeze, needs to be replaced by 2018 because that system will no longer be produced.

Currently, the rink has two floors, one on top of the other, King said. Both will need to be removed to make way for a new floor and refrigeration system.