Local News, Sports

H-F Parks sets tentative date for ice arena grand reopening

The Homewood-Flossmoor Park District has tentative plans for a grand reopening of the H-F Ice Arena, 777 Kedzie Ave. in Flossmoor, on Saturday, Feb. 11.

Lyndsay Freeman, ice arena director, gave the park commissioners a glimpse of what she has in store to draw the community back to the ice arena’s two rinks – the main NHL regulation-sized rink and the studio rink, a smaller version of the main rink used for training sessions.

The park district’s plan is to start the two-week process of making ice in the two rinks in the middle of January.

The program includes a ribbon-cutting ceremony; a DJ entertaining during open skating periods; a possible visit from the Black Hawks and Wolves mascots; youth hockey games or 3-on-3 scrimmage. A demonstration from Radiance, the synchronized skating club that uses the ice arena as its home base. The skaters will be competing the following day in a figure skating competition. To close out the night, there will be two drop-in sessions of hockey – a family session and an adult hockey session.

On the studio rink there will be mini lessons for the community throughout the day.

In addition, there will be giveaways of Black Hawks tickets, a pass to the ice arena and more.

Park commissioners were enthusiastic about Freeman’s plans. 

The ice arena was shut down in November 2021 when the refrigeration system failed. Despite the staff’s best attempts, the dated system couldn’t be repaired. The park board moved immediately to start the process to get a new refrigeration system. The improvement required a number of additional changes, including building a new structure for mechanicals.

W.B. Olson, Inc. of Northbrook was hired as the construction manager. Williams Architects handled the design work. American Arena won the bid on the ice refrigeration system, concrete pour and new dasher boards.

The district sold $5.5 million in general obligation bonds in May to cover the costs, but inflation and supply chain issues raised the cost from $6.5 to $7.1 million. 

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