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Work is progressing, but H-F Ice Arena may not open until Thanksgiving

Progress may seem slow, but the team assembled to help the H-F Park District get the ice arena reopened is moving with all deliberative speed, according to Debbie Kopas, parks executive director.

Kopas told park commissioners at their Feb. 15 meeting that the team of engineers, an architect and the construction manager and his support team are aware of the urgency to get the facility up and running, and she applauded them for their attempts to get the work underway as soon as possible.

The park district was forced to close the ice arena in November when the refrigeration system that makes ice in the rinks failed. The abrupt shutdown forced hockey teams and skaters to find time at other rinks.

The original date for reopening the ice arena at 777 Kedzie Ave. was September, but it now appears the opening will be sometime around Thanksgiving, Kopas said.


“It seems to have become clear that we’re not going to be open for this fall season — at the beginning of it at any rate — as we’re navigating all this design work and all the parts of the project. There are just so many moving parts. Many, many factors are involved,” she told commissioners.

Kopas said the project design has been divided into pieces so that work can be done on all facets at once.

The work includes not only replacing the refrigeration system, but also constructing a building onto the ice arena to hold the new mechanicals to operate the icemaking system.

Once the plans are ready, the park district will go before the Flossmoor Plan Commission and the Flossmoor Village Board for approval.

The work is estimated at $4 million, but the park district won’t know the final cost of the project until the work goes out for bid.

Kopas said supply chain issues also could slow the project. She had one supplier say there could be a 44-week wait for certain parts, but she’s hoping that won’t be the case. She said the members of the construction team “really are working diligently to try and figure out which parts require lead time.”

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