White Park skate house begins to take shape

The new White Park skate house is making progress as the roof is being put up and walls are up at the site of the old skate house. GEOFF FORESTER
The new White Park skate house is making progress as the roof is being put up and walls are up at the site of the old skate house. GEOFF FORESTER
The old White Park skate house, shown after it was demolished in late September.  Caitlin Andrews
The old White Park skate house, shown after it was demolished in late September. Caitlin Andrews

The walls may be up at the White Park skate house, but Concord officials say the building won’t be ready for public use by the next 1883 Black Ice Pond Hockey Championship.

Work on the foundation, drainage and patio have been ongoing since the project kicked off this past summer, according to a December report from city director of redevelopment and special projects, Matt Walsh.

But while the framing may be up, exterior work will still be ongoing by Jan. 24, when the puck drops on the annual city pond hockey tournament, Walsh wrote. Thus, the house won’t be open to the public.

While people are zipping around on the ice, the city anticipates crews will be installing sheetrock and beginning interior priming and painting at the time of the tournament, Walsh wrote. In addition, finish electrical, plumbing and mechanical systems will not yet be installed.

Chris Brown, chairman of the Black Ice board and member of the committee spearheading the public-private project, said he hopes people will be able to at least get close to the project.

“We have progressed a lot in the last couple weeks,” he said. “It looks more like the rendering we showed the public.”

The city is partnering with the skate house committee to fund the $1.15 million project, with half of the money coming from private donations.

Brown said about half of the money needed on the private side has been raised. He said most of the second half is anticipated to come from the sale of granite pavers that will be displayed on the skate house’s patio. The pavers can be purchased for a donation between $500 and $1,000.

At 2,285 square feet, the planned skate house is actually smaller than the current skate house’s 2,758 square feet, but the new two-story building would also boast an 1,110-square-foot patio.

The new facility will also offer public restrooms, indoor and outdoor fireplaces, a snack bar and a rental shop for ice skates. The second floor will be used for storage.

The project is expected to be completed by March and the building open by April 20, according to Walsh’s report.

The city anticipates the skate house will cost about $21,610 to operate from April to the end of June, according to city documents. Those costs will be offset by vacation camps, school programs and room rentals.

Rental rates will be $150 for residents and $175 for non-residents, with a 2-hour rental minimum.

A public hearing on appropriating the money for house’s operations is set for January.

 

(Caitlin Andrews can be reached at 369-3309, candrews@cmonitor.com or on Twitter at @ActualCAndrews.)

Author: Caitlin Andrews / Monitor staff

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