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Van Ho price tag goes up $2M

A rendering shows what a new three-story, 30,000-square-foot base lodge at Mount Van Hoevenberg is expected to look like. (Provided image — Olympic Regional Development Authority)

LAKE PLACID — The price tag for upgrades to the Mount Van Hoevenberg Olympic Sports Complex has gone up by $2 million.

The ORDA Board of Directors on Monday voted unanimously to move forward a spate of projects, most of them related to utility, construction and snowmaking improvements at venues in Lake Placid.

The board also approved a more than $2 million adjustment to an existing project at the Olympic Sports Complex. The project — which was slated to include the installation of a wastewater collection and treatment system, backfill for electrical systems, and a media compound for broadcast operations — ran into some complications when the original site for the wastewater system was scrapped because of high groundwater, according to ORDA documents.

Another site with better conditions was found in a snow field, but that site required the addition of more pumping and pipeline systems to carry the wastewater. Additional electrical equipment to bring power and telecommunications to the venue were also needed.

Altogether, those changes to the project are expected to push the cost from more than $25.6 million to more than $27.7 million, according to the resolution approved by the board.

A rendering shows what a new three-story, 30,000-square-foot base lodge at Mount Van Hoevenberg is expected to look like. (Provided image — Olympic Regional Development Authority)

This one project is part of a larger modernization project at the Olympic Sports Complex. The construction of a new 30,000-square-foot base lodge is underway. The lodge will serve as a joint building with the USA Bobsled and Skeleton Federation, with amenities for athletes, biathletes, Nordic ski enthusiasts and hikers. A mountain coaster ride and a new 8-million-gallon snowmaking reservoir are being built. A new hiking trailhead to Cascade Mountain is being constructed.

Altogether, construction at Mount Van Hoevenberg is projected to last roughly 26 months and cost upward of $60 million. The new base lodge is expected to open in the winter of 2021, and the other work, including new ski trails and stadium construction, is scheduled for completion in 2021 or 2022.

Olympic Center tunnel

The ORDA board also approved a more than $4.8 million contract with Rifenberg Construction, a Capital Region-based company, to build a spectator tunnel beneath Cummings Road connecting the Olympic Speedskating Oval to the Olympic Center.

A rendering shows two people riding a mountain coaster the state plans to build at Mount Van Hoevenberg. (Image provided by New York state)

In its request for proposals for this project, ORDA asked that the contractor construct “approximately 2,100 square feet of concrete underground tunnel that will integrate into a new section of an approximately 28 foot high, 200 foot long retaining wall.” A portion of that retaining wall will be demolished and replaced.

This piece of a projected $100 million Olympic Center overhaul is expected to be completed by Dec. 21, according to the request for proposals.

The Olympic Center project has been split into several parts, all of which ORDA CEO Michael Pratt has said the authority is looking to complete by late summer or early fall of 2022. The other phases may include construction of a parking garage on a piece of land currently used for parking by teachers and staff of the Lake Placid Middle-High School, an outdoor deck overlooking Main Street, space for a sports bar and restaurant, full replacement of the oval and installation of new refrigeration units, facade and ingress-egress improvements, expansion of the Lake Placid Olympic Museum, and improvements to the 1932 and 1980 Olympic arenas as well as the USA Rink.

Last month, Gov. Andrew Cuomo proposed $147 million in new capital funding for ORDA as part of his Executive Budget. Most of that, $134.5 million, would be earmarked for “a strategic upgrade and modernization plan to support improvements to the Olympic facilities and ski resorts.” It’s unclear how much would go toward the Olympic Center upgrades.

New York’s Senate, Assembly and governor are supposed to come up with a final 2020-21 state budget by April 1. The state gave ORDA more than $80 million to upgrade winter sports venues in 2019-20 and $60 million the year before.

This design image shows what the exterior of an overhauled Lake Placid Olympic Center’s box office entrance is expected to look like after an expected $100 million upgrade to the complex. (Provided image — ORDA)

Other actions

Other projects the board voted to approve Monday include:

¯ An amendment to ORDA’s capital commitment to its Discovery Base Lodge modernization project at the Belleayre Mountain Ski Center in the Catskills, increasing the project cost from $14.6 million in the original agreement to a total estimated cost of more than $15.2 million. The project cost increased because material that contained asbestos was discovered and required abatement, and because the scope of the work changed to include a third-floor VIP area for guests, according to ORDA documents. The timeline for this project was also extended to June 1.

¯ The removal of the lead-coated copper roof on the Whiteface Veterans Memorial Highway roundhouse and a wooden plank deck connecting the building to a weather station, and the installation of a new roof and deck. This work was awarded to Friends Commercial Contracting Corporation of Malone for $1,385,650. ORDA expects most of the work to be done by Sept. 25.

¯ The removal of two existing cooling towers and the installation of two new ones at the Mount Van Hoevenberg Olympic Sports Complex. The work will be done by Mullally Brothers, of Troy, for $455,334. ORDA expects most of the work to be done by Sept. 15.

¯ The installation of new electrical systems to power existing buildings at the Mount Van Hoevenberg Olympic Sports Complex. The work will be done by Northern Utilities, of New Hampshire, for $950,000. ORDA expects most of this work to be done by Sept. 1.

¯ The removal of existing electrical equipment and installation of new equipment for the Whiteface Mountain pump house. This work will be done by William J. Murray Inc. of Plattsburgh for $364,000. ORDA expects most of the work to be done by Oct. 1.

¯ The purchase of prefabricated snowmaking pump station equipment for Belleayre from the Indiana-based Torrent Engineering and Equipment Company. Including installation, that is expected to cost more than $1 million. ORDA expects most of the work to be done by Oct. 15.

¯ The board also authorized CEO Michael Pratt to sign a project labor agreement — typically a collective bargaining agreement between one or multiple unions — for contract work at the Olympic Center.

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