Local News

Park board hires ice arena construction manager

The Homewood-Flossmoor Park District extended a short-term contract with W.B. Olson to a full contract for the firm to act as the construction manager for the work to replace the refrigeration system at the H-F Ice Arena, 777 Kedzie Ave. in Flossmoor.

Pending an attorney review, the commissioners voted on Tuesday, March 1, to award a $393,000 contract to W.B. Olson Inc. of Northbrook for the length of the project. Parks Executive Director Debbie Kopas said negotiations on the contract took into consideration the scope of the project, expected timeline, hard costs of construction, need for a construction crew trailer and other materials.

The firm was awarded a pre-construction contract of $19,775 in January, and has been part of every meeting involving a team of specialists helping the park district prepare for bids for the work that will include a new refrigeration system and necessary mechanicals.

“Nothing has been held up by this. We’ve been going gangbusters,” Kopas told commissioners. H-F Park District staff has conducted meetings with Olson representatives and engineers and with Williams Architects to prepare the materials needed to go out to bid the project.

The park board is accepting bids until March 18 for the refrigeration system, dasher boards and rink slabs. An estimated cost for the project is $4 million.

The board had decided several years ago to replace the icemaking system but had hoped it would be good for another year or two as the park board sought grants and outside funding sources. The park district was forced to shut down the ice arena in November when staff realized the refrigeration system wasn’t operating. Attempts at a temporary fix failed, and the ice arena was closed for the season.

Kopas has said that everyone involved in the project understands the urgency of getting the ice arena reopened as soon as possible, but this is a major project that will take months to complete. The latest timeline is the ice arena reopening in November.

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