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Baltgalvis said the Park Board has been open to his concerns, and he’s looking further into the finances of the project.
Chamberlain said the cost ballooned after initial estimates of $6 million didn’t fully take into account the scope of renovations needed.
Park Board Commissioner Anita Tabb said the renovations are needed, but the board isn’t thrilled with the cost.
“Absolutely we had sticker shock,” she said. “It was very, very hard to take.”
Tabb said she’s comfortable with the financial projections showing the arena can pay the cost off, and the venue is in use enough by people across the city to make the renovations necessary.
Paul Larson, president of the Minnesota Storm Hockey program, said the project isn’t excessive and is simply making the facility functional. Losing the facility, he said, would affect the 700 kids in the hockey program, as well as figure skaters and adult hockey leagues that use Parade as their primary home. “It would greatly impact our program, because Parade is the most convenient arena,” he said.
Demolition is underway on the north rink. Renovations on it should be done in time for hockey season in the fall. The south and studio rinks will be renovated in 2014, which ensures ice time will be available throughout construction.
Brian Arola is a University of Minnesota student on assignment at the Star Tribune.