Delays in a $1.25 million renovation mean public skating at Baltimore’s Mt. Pleasant Ice Arena will be closed through at least March.
Originally scheduled to be completed by December, the renovation of the North Baltimore arena ran into “unforeseen” issues with the building’s mechanical, structural, plumbing, electrical and service lines, according to Adam Boarman, the chief of capital development for the Baltimore Department of Recreation & Parks.
“Once you open up the interior of an old building, it results in additional design work and delays for ordering extra materials and getting the work complete,” Boarman said.
He added that heavy precipitation during the early phases of construction, beginning in August, hampered the progress of the work.
Baltimore’s Board of Estimates, the city’s spending panel, approved Wednesday giving the contractor until March to complete the work.
The ice arena, a popular destination for both families and winter sports leagues, is getting upgrades to its four locker rooms, restrooms, concession station, lobby and front entrance.
Erected in the 1980s, the more than 30,000-square-foot space hosts the Baltimore Figure Skating Club and the Baltimore Youth Hockey Club. World Champion competitive figure skater Kimmie Meissner, a Towson native who attended Fallston High School in Harford County, trained in the arena and occasionally returns to practice. The facility also holds birthday parties, skating lessons and special public events.
Boarman said the leagues and long-term permit holders continue to use the arena and its ice amid the construction.
Carolyn Dallas, a longtime frequenter of the ice rink, said though the renovations have interfered with her skating, she can’t wait until it reopens.
“I keep ice skates in the back of my car, but I haven’t been able to use them this winter,” she said. “I really miss skating there. It’s inexpensive and there are really nice people there.”