Ice rink closures planned for Kenai, Soldotna this summer

Algae grows on beams above the ice rink at the Kenai Multi-Purpose Facility on Monday, March 21, 2022, in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

Algae grows on beams above the ice rink on the Kenai Multi-Purpose Facility on Monday, March 21, 2022, in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

Major renovations are coming to Kenai and Soldotna ice rinks this summer time.

In Soldotna, long-awaited work shall be performed to the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex’s exterior doorways, the ceiling over the bleachers and mezzanine and locker room amenities. In Kenai, metropolis upkeep crews will work to coat rust that’s inflicting corrosion to the Kenai Multi-Purpose Facility’s metal construction.

Soldotna Parks and Recreation Director Andrew Carmichael mentioned the rink ice shall be taken out of the sports activities complicated utterly on April 17. Substantial completion of the venture is slated for September and whole completion is scheduled for October.

Carmichael mentioned Monday that summer time building on the sports activities complicated has been years within the making. After Soldotna residents voted down the development of a area home adjoining to the complicated in 2019, town pivoted to investing in enhancements to the prevailing construction, Carmichael mentioned.

Among the renovations deliberate for the 37-year-old constructing this summer time are the alternative of 55 exterior doorways, anticipated to price round $567,000, the alternative of the ceiling over the bleacher and mezzanine space, estimated to price simply over $300,000 and repairs to the constructing’s locker room amenities, estimated to price simply over $86,000.

The Soldotna City Council authorized final 12 months an extra $583,000 for the renovations. Project Manager C.O. Rudstrom wrote in a memo to Soldotna City Manager Stephanie Queen final October that the worth enhance may very well be attributed to “Unique Market Risk” because of COVID-19, “volatile” materials pricing and availability, a brief window for building and a rise within the scope of labor for “previously unidentified hazardous materials and ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) code compliance issues.”

Construction on the renovations was initially slated for final 12 months, Carmichael mentioned, however work was pushed again because of COVID-19.

“The original scheduled time didn’t work,” Carmichael mentioned.

The sports activities complicated shall be turned over to contractors on May 15, Carmichael mentioned Monday. “Substantial” completion of the renovations is anticipated to be accomplished in mid-September, with whole completion slated for October. Exact dates, he mentioned, shall be contingent on exterior elements equivalent to materials availability and staffing.

Over in Kenai, summer time renovations are equally deliberate on the metropolis’s Multi-Purpose Facility, which homes town’s ice rink.

The work will concentrate on making use of a coating to the constructing’s beams, the place rust is inflicting corrosion, Kenai Public Works Director Scott Curtin mentioned Monday. The injury was detected in 2020, when Curtin referred to as in Nelson Engineering to survey the ability. That survey mentioned vital upkeep can be wanted throughout the subsequent two to 4 years to make sure the vitality of the constructing.

Curtin’s personal division will apply the coating as a approach to minimize prices and streamline the efforts. Of chief precedence would be the part of ceiling instantly over the rink, the place the injury is most extreme, he mentioned. The coating to be utilized is one generally used on fishing vessels, Curtin mentioned, and have to be utilized at a sure temperature — over 45 levels. In all, he mentioned town has round $80,000 to fund the venture, $9,000 of which has already been spent.

From the bottom degree of the rink, algae and rust may be seen above the rink. Among the causes, Curtin mentioned, is an absence of moisture management in what was meant to be an outside facility. Not solely was the multipurpose facility not meant to accommodate ice year-round, it additionally lacks lots of the instruments used to evaluate how moisture from summer time ice is affecting the constructing.

As town works to offset the impacts of corrosion, Curtin mentioned, neighborhood members ought to take into consideration their imaginative and prescient for the long-term way forward for the ability. His division will frequently work to enhance the injury, however in the end the issue stems from the ability not being designed to carry summer time ice within the first place. If customers need a facility able to providing year-round ice, a completely new constructing would possible be wanted, he mentioned.

“We shouldn’t try to make a building into something that it’s not,” Curtin mentioned.

Kenai City Manager Paul Ostrander mentioned Monday that whereas the closure will undoubtedly influence individuals used to accessing the ice in the summertime, equivalent to hockey gamers, the repairs are wanted as quickly as doable to forestall additional corrosion.

“It’s critically important that we do what we need to to maintain the viability of this facility,” Ostrander mentioned.

In response to suggestions he’s obtained that Kenai and Soldotna ought to have coordinated to forestall overlapping ice closures, Ostrander famous that the Soldotna facility will largely function as regular. If summer time work goes properly with out extra issues popping up, he mentioned town of Kenai is “hopeful” ice on the multipurpose facility shall be again in August.

In the meantime, Curtin mentioned town asks residents to be affected person whereas work is underway.

“Everyone’s patience and support would be greatly appreciated,” Curtin mentioned. “ … What we’re trying to do is solve a cancer that’s been growing in the building for years and years.”

More info on each amenities may be discovered on cities’ respective web sites, at kenai.metropolis or at

Reach reporter Ashlyn O’Hara at

Beams rust at the Kenai Multi-Purpose Facility on Monday, March 21, 2022, in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

Beams rust on the Kenai Multi-Purpose Facility on Monday, March 21, 2022, in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

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