Berkley Ice Arena Cancels Remainder of 2016-17 Winter Season
After 42 years of continuous operation, the City of Berkley has made the difficult decision to cancel all ice arena activities scheduled for the remainder of the winter season due to a coolant leak under the building. Hockey teams and ice skaters were informed when it was determined that an invasive repair is needed.
On September 29th, the ice surface began to soften and the best repair efforts were unsuccessful. Arena staff and professional contractors worked diligently to identify the source of the failure and make the needed repairs. According to the experts, there is a leak in the cooling system that originates under the concrete floor of the building. The challenge is pinpointing the exact location of the leak; an expensive and time consuming endeavor.
Over the years, there have been mechanical issues at the arena directly related to the age of the equipment. City leaders have made the proper budget allocations to cover arena expenses, factoring in costs for major repairs, some equipment replacement and preventive maintenance. In spite of the most aggressive efforts, it was not enough to prevent the current situation.
City Manager Matt Baumgarten said: “We are saddened by this situation. We must take this time and consider what can be done given the city’s remaining capital needs and plan for the future. Residents will be engaged in the decision process as viable options for the arena become clear.”
The city has few options for bringing new life into the aging facility. As parts become more difficult to replace or fabricate, the arena has become increasingly expensive to maintain. According to a 2014 facility assessment, the arena has outlived its useful life.
The City of Berkley is currently seeking a public sector partner, or partners, to redevelop the Berkley Parks & Recreation Complex. The right partnership can be a win for the private partner, the city and Berkley residents. Developers are invited to submit prospective proposals to indicate their interest in an innovative renovation that will improve the site and provide the needed upgrades. Details regarding this initiative, an Expression of Interest, is available on the city’s website by clicking here.