Rink decision to be finalized Monday

Although a final decision won’t be made until Monday, Mayor Glenn Witherspoon has hinted the town most likely will look at building a second indoor ice surface adjacent to Memorial Arena.
Information received back from an engineering firm stated Memorial Arena has a life span of 15-20 years with minor upkeep, the mayor said yesterday morning.
“We’re about nine-10ths sure [that just one rink will be built] but the committee will finalize their decision Monday,” he noted.
Mayor Witherspoon said the new arena will become the “user” one, with a seating capacity of about 1,200. That would mean it will host the major attractions, including the Muskie hockey team’s home games.
The mayor was cautious to speculate when the second rink would be finalized but was hopeful it would be completed some time during the 1998-99 season.
The decision to build just one new rink goes against the town’s plan to build two new arenas on the arena field and demolishing the existing Memorial Arena.
But those plans were nixed when the town’s original contract with Windfield Construction Ltd. of Winnipeg was terminated late last year after the company could not get a performance bond for the project.
The mayor confirmed Windfield’s original estimate that the new project would cost the town $4.9 million was under the actual cost for the new double-rink ice surface but added he could not pinpoint the exact amount.
The next step, said the mayor, is to hire an architect.
Dave Egan, who sits on the arena committee as a representative of “Ice for Kids,” said building one new second indoor ice surface here was their plan from the outset.
Still, he admitted the question as to what to do when Memorial Arena’s time expired will be a difficult one.
“It’s a tough question. It’s hard to say what’s going to happen to the structure 15-20 years from now and how to replace it,” said Egan. “Basically there will be a few things to consider, whether to hook on to the existing building or not.”