The University of Saskatchewan is looking for a way to meet its need for a new ice rink without increasing its capital or operating costs.
Later this month the university will issue a request for expressions of interest in building an ice facility in College Quarter. The process will be similar to the one used for the hotel development that was announced in November 2013, and the agreement would involve a long-term land lease to an outside firm to build and operate a rink.
“After the hotel development was announced we received a number of informal inquiries about the university’s plans to replace Rutherford Rink, which was built in 1929 and is among the oldest facilities in the country still used for Canadian Interuniversity Sport-level competition,” said Judy Yungwirth, director of Corporate Administration. “The university wants to determine exactly what the level of interest is, and to find out if we can get a new facility without incurring additional capital or operating costs.”
“With over 800 students playing Campus Rec hockey plus the Huskies hockey programs, any ice surface would be well used,” said Carol Rodgers, dean of the College of Kinesiology. “A new facility would make an overall contribution to College Quarter and to the athletic-recreational space there. It’s another facility students can access that will enhance their opportunity to participate in physical activity and meet the overall vision of the athletics, health and wellness area in College Quarter.”
She added a new ice facility presents an opportunity to upgrade secondary features like the sound system and press boxes, “things you’d like to see at a higher level than we have now. Better-developed training facilities, locker rooms and coaching space ‘would certainly make it a better experience for student-athletes and coaches.”
Infrastructure servicing of the College Quarter north-east precinct, including roads and sewer, water and electrical lines, will begin this summer to accommodate the hotel that will be located along College Drive just north of Griffiths Stadium. The master plan for College Quarter includes an ice facility but the university is still in an early enough stage of development that a rink can be accommodated just about anywhere on the north-east site.
The request for submissions will be provided to companies that have already contacted the university directly and it will be advertised. It will likely be mid-summer before any proposals can be analyzed and a decision made that’s in the best interest of the university.
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University of Saskatchewan