CORNING - The cost to upgrade the popular, heavily-used Nasser Civic Center Ice Rink, which was built in the mid-1970s, will be more expensive than originally expected.
Nelson & Streeter Construction Company, of Pine City, recently entered an apparent low bid of $1,135,000 for the project, which includes replacing the aging floor and cooling system.
City Manager Mark Ryckman said work, which will begin in 30 to 60 days and be completed by mid-November in time for the rink to reopen next winter, will cost about $200,000 more than city officials anticipated.
The City Council bonded $900,000 in the 2017-18 city budget to pay for the needed ice rink upgrade.
“That money is in place,” Ryckman said. “Although the bids came in higher than expected, we need to move forward with the project, since R-22 coolant for the current system is no longer available.”
The City Council will hold it's monthly meeting at 6:30 p.m. Monday at City Hall. An emergency resolution may be placed on the council agenda to take needed funds for the ice rink project from the city’s $1.9 million fund balance.
“I will replenish (the fund balance) in time,” Ryckman said. “It won’t be the end of the world.”
Alex Hamilton, city director of parks and recreation, called the ice rink a popular facility.
“It is used on a daily basis,” Hamilton said. “As a small community, we are very fortunate to have an ice rink.”
The current R22 refrigeration, which allows the floor to freeze, needs to be replaced because the system is no longer being produced, Ryckman said.
Both of the ice rink's two floors, one on top of the other will need to be removed to make way for a new floor and refrigeration system.
In the summer of 2019, city officials expect to upgrade the bathrooms at the rink, provide handicap accessibility and repaint the roof trusses.
Corning Enterprises donated $150,000, Crystal City Parks Foundation has pledged $3,000 and city officials have applied for $363,000 in state funding to pay for the upgrade.