Breckenridge backs ice rink’s locker room redo after $200,000 cost reduction
Breckenridge has trimmed $200,000 from the estimated cost of a renovation to the Stephen C. West Ice Arena, and that’s good enough for the project to proceed.
The cost reduction is not quite 10 percent off the $2.5 million figure that made council cringe last month. Still, the money saved shouldn’t be overlooked, said Mayor Eric Mamula.
The problem that Councilman Dick Carleton described was pretty straightforward.
Breckenridge built a superb indoor ice rink — second to none among comparable mountain communities except maybe Aspen’s, he said — but the explosion of female hockey players was something the town couldn’t have anticipated when it built the facility and its tiny locker rooms with adjoining bathroom facilities.
Now, the lack of separate locker room space has adult men walking in on teenage girls in the shower and the lack of space is forcing 10-year-olds to change into their gear and back again in the bleachers.
Carleton witnessed the free-for-all of children changing in the bleachers while Jackie Koetteritz, the director of girls hockey for Summit Youth Hockey, relayed the primary problems with shared showers to town leaders during a Feb. 12 meeting.
That was when the elected officials backed the reasoning behind the ice arena renovations but were shell-shocked to learn the estimated price tag was so high. Concerned, they asked town staff to revisit designs and see if they couldn’t produce a more palatable figure.
On Tuesday, staff informed council they had chipped into the estimate by $207,000 without reducing the scope of the project, which includes some new office space and contingency costs, in addition to the locker rooms. But estimated at $1.7 million, the new locker rooms continue to drive the overall cost.
Citing their desire to better serve female athletes and resigned to the notion that building locker rooms is rather expensive, council unanimously favored proceeding with the project.
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