Loring Arena Renovation
Appropriate capital investment over the years has kept the arena’s major infrastructure well preserved. However, the original construction materials and design layout presented challenges related to the following:
- Health and Safety Issues - Recently, work was done on the exterior surfaces of the arena end walls to slow their deterioration. Prior to conducting this work, testing was performed to identify if hazardous materials were present. Testing revealed lead paint and asbestos are prevalent in the original construction materials. A long-term solution to the presence of these materials is critical. Design Development has identified the most cost effective solution to addressing these issues.
- Accessibility Issues - A few years ago, the City conducted an accessibility study, finding several of its buildings deficient. Having been constructed in the 1960’s, Loring is in need of accessibility improvements. The completion of Design Development will provide plans for a fully accessible facility, including entryways, restrooms, locker rooms, seating, and community use spaces on both the first and second floors.
- Gender Separation Issues - When the arena was originally constructed, the predominant use for team sports was male hockey. The arena was designed with common hallways to access locker rooms, gang showers, and restroom facilities. The extent of these original design deficiencies became apparent with the advent of women’s hockey at all levels. The current configuration of these spaces can often result in one gender having no access to appropriate shower/restrooms facilities. Additionally, this configuration leaves the City exposed to potential liability issues. Completion of design development will provide the appropriately designed locker rooms, shower facilities, and restrooms to meet the community’s needs now and into the foreseeable future.
- Energy Efficiency Issues - All construction has an anticipated useful life, for both materials and systems. Most of the arena’s construction materials, mechanical systems, and plumbing systems at are original equipment from the 1960’s. This includes the non-insulated Transite panel end walls, hot water boiler, boiler vent stack, hot water heating system, and compressors to run the cooling system. Design Development will bring all of these issues into compliance with current building code and energy efficiency requirements. We will work closely with the utility providers to identify financial incentives that may be available to implement improvements of this nature.
Final Design Contract
A final design contract was executed with BH+A of Boston after final design and construction funds were appropriated through Town Meeting in the spring of 2015. In the fall of 2016 the construction bid was awarded to Lupachino/Salvatore Inc. of Bloomfield, CT. Construction began in May of 2017.