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Group expected to present revised Manchester ice arena plans

New Hampshire Union Leader

June 01. 2014 8:23PM

MANCHESTER — Representatives of a group looking to take over the operation of the city’s West Side Ice Arena, with hopes to transform it into a multi-use recreational complex through $1 million in renovations and additions, are expected to go before the Committee on Land and Buildings Monday with revised plans.

Today’s meeting of the Committee on Land and Buildings gets underway at 4 p.m. in the Aldermanic Chambers on the third floor of City Hall.

Stakeholders in the newly-formed West Side Renaissance Park Inc., are expected to be present at the session, to discuss details of a proposal to overhaul and operate the arena. Company representatives have publicly stated the group is looking to acquire administrative control over the rink and adjacent properties, while the city will retain ownership of the land and building.

“We see this as a true public-private partnership,” said John Hebert, principal proponent of the plan. “We think there’s great potential there.”

According to paperwork filed with City Clerk Matthew Normand prior to today’s session, Summit Consulting and Management LLC — a construction and property management firm — will provide the services for the build-out of the arena, as well as long-term facilities management for the property. The documents state the purpose of the project is “to provide increased skating and hockey opportunity and enrichment to all sectors of the greater Manchester community through growth and enhancement of Manchester Regional Youth Hockey Association (MRYHA) programs, as well as the introduction of progressive, skating-based initiatives designed to broaden the availability of ice-centered initiatives.”

Summit will serve as the lead developer and manager of the facility, while the MRYHA will continue to be its primary and anchor tenant, and provide support with program development. The project consists of the following renovations and additions to the West Side Arena, totaling $1 million:

• Replacement of perimeter boards and glass (estimated cost of construction $160,000)

• Addition of two new locker/changing rooms ($270,000)

• Renovation of the mezzanine space to accommodate new concession, warming, office and spectator space ($170,000)

• Addition of a new pro shop on the vacated lower level ($100,000)

• Upgraded ADA facilities, including a new elevator ($200,000)

There is also $100,000 in contingency funds built into the cost of the project.

If aldermen approve the plan, new boards and glass will be installed by Aug. 15, with the rest of the project expected to be completed by August of 2015.

For the current fiscal year, revenues for the arena are projected to be $434,190. West Side Renaissance Park projects that, if renovations to the arena move forward, those numbers will jump to $609,880 in 2014-15 and will increase each year after, up to $755,521 in 2018-19. In 2012, the arena generated a net profit before taxes of $40,208. The plan estimates that figure to climb to $114,588 by 2018-19 if the project moves forward. The city would retain revenues generated through advertising, concession and merchandise sales at the arena, under terms of the proposed agreement.

The West Side arena, completed in 1974, is run by the Parks, Recreation and Cemeteries Division, along with the JFK Memorial Coliseum and the Derryfield Country Club, as part of its Recreation Fund. In addition to hosting the youth hockey association and other private leagues, it’s used by Manchester High School West and Merrimack High School.

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