Reporting Jamie Yuccas
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Hockey players, figure skaters and those just looking to hit the ice have relied on the Parade Ice Garden since the 1970s.
Now, in 2013, the Minneapolis ice rink needs a major $10 million upgrade.
If the improvement project isn’t approved, the rink would face an uncertain future.
“It needs complete new mechanical systems, new floors for the rinks, new dehumidifying systems, basically we’d be left with just the bones of the building,” said Bruce Chamberlin, assistant superintendent for planning on the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board.
The cost would be around $10 million.
“If we don’t do this project, we’ll limp along, spending several hundred thousand dollars a year doing repairs and eventually we’ll be faced with the need to shut this facility down,” Chamberlin said. “And that’s not really an option.”
A maintenance crew took us down to the boiler room, where many pieces of the refrigeration system were being held together with duct tape.
The systems need to be replaced with more energy efficient and environmentally friendly options.
The upgrades would also help pay for the project.
Maintenance savings would top $400,000 a year.
“We will save $100,000 just in energy costs alone at today’s rate,” Chamberlin said.
Allowing all three rinks to stay open in the summer would mean a revenue of $150,000.
The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Department says there would also be money in this plan to make improvements to City Golf Courses.
Things like caulking faucets and changing light bulbs to make them more energy efficient.
The Minneapolis Park Board will vote on the proposal on Wednesday, Feb. 20.