Design cost for Olympic Center tops $4.4 million

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)

LAKE PLACID — The state Olympic Regional Development Authority Board of Directors authorized a $2.1 million design contract for upcoming upgrades at the Olympic Center on Tuesday, bumping the total spent on designs and research alone to more than $4.4 million.

The board gave ORDA CEO Michael Pratt the authority to sign a $2.1 million contract with Cannon Design Architectural and Engineering, a company that started in Niagara Falls and now boasts 19 locations across the country, to draw up final designs and construction documents for some of the planned upgrades at the Olympic Center. Those projects include revitalization of the 1980 and 1932 rinks, replacement of the Olympic Speedskating Oval and installation of new refrigeration units, and link building modernization.

One year ago, ORDA signed a contract with Cannon Design for preliminary schematics related to the Olympic Center upgrades for $803,500. This past November, ORDA signed a second $1.5 million contract with Cannon Design for further design and research. With this latest $2.1 million contract, ORDA hopes to see plan documents for the 1980 and 1932 rinks done by August, documents for the Oval done by October, documents for the refrigeration units by November and documents for the link building by December.

Pratt told the board Tuesday that the latest contract would allow the authority “to put together construction documents to go out to bid.”

“Certainly the code issues with this building were challenging, the process to go through the concept and schematic designs was very methodical. With this investment into construction documents, it brings our soft costs up to 8% (for the rink, Oval and link building upgrades), which is a good figure to have,” he said. “For certain projects it could be as much as 12%. The 8% number we’re happy with.”

This design image shows what the interior lobby of an overhauled Lake Placid Olympic Center is expected to look like. (Provided image — ORDA)


The Olympic Center project is slated to include an underground “spectator tunnel” from the ice rink complex to the Oval, expansion of the Lake Placid Olympic Museum and improvements to the 1932 and 1980 arenas, as well as full replacement of the Oval and installation of new refrigeration units.

In the 1980 wing, ORDA is planning to improve athletes’ locker rooms with upgraded shower rooms and restrooms, install new “hospitality suites,” make the entrance compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act and install new ADA-accessible seating, construct a new concession area and update the bathrooms, among other projects. In the 1932 arena, similar upgrades are planned, as well as the restoration of balcony seating and the addition of new team rooms and wayfinding signage.

Cummings Road is seen in a design sketch for a new parking garage proposed to be built behind the Lake Placid Olympic Center, seen at right. (Provided photo — Olympic Regional Development Authority)

The Olympic Center project may also include a parking garage to replace the parking lot behind the center that ORDA currently shares with the Lake Placid Central School District, plus an outdoor deck overlooking Main Street, space for a sports bar and restaurant, and upgrades to the USA Rink — though Pratt said in May that USA Rink improvements would be put on the back burner as the authority reevaluates its projects amid the coronavirus pandemic and the ensuing economic impact.

The various pieces of this project will move forward in phases. Altogether, early projections set the Olympic Center upgrades at $100 million.

Other actions

The Crystal Edges synchronized skating team sails by a crowd in formation at the Skating Club of Lake Placid’s “A Skater’s Wish” show in December 2019 at the Lake Placid Olympic Center’s 1932 Rink. (Enterprise photo — Aaron Cerbone)

At the ORDA Board of Directors’ meeting on Tuesday, the board also voted to:

•  Designate a list of “policymakers,” per guidelines from the state Joint Commission on Public Ethics, including the ORDA Board of Directors, Pratt, Vice Presidents Vero Piacentini and Scott Christiansen, and other ORDA administrators.

•  Approve the authority’s annual operations report.

•  Approve financial statements through March 31 and an attached auditor’s report.

•  Approve a revision to the authority’s capital assets and depreciation policy.

Wayne Coffey, author of “The Boys of Winter: The Untold Story of a Coach, a Dream, and the 1980 U.S. Olympic Hockey Team,” poses Feb. 20 in the Lake Placid Olympic Center’s 1980 Rink, also called the Herb Brooks Arena. (Enterprise photo — Andy Flynn)

•  Authorize Pratt to sign a $6 million contract with The Pike Company for all labor and materials needed for improvements to the snowmaking pump house at Belleayre Mountain in the Catskills.

•  Authorize Pratt to award a $250,000 contract to an as-of-yet-unnamed construction company for infrastructure upgrades to the snowmaking system at Gore Mountain. The board usually knows which company is being awarded contracts beforehand, but the resolution the board approved Tuesday says that “the project is time-sensitive,” and Pratt has requested the authority to award the contract to the “low(est) responsible (bidder), without having to wait until the next regularly scheduled meeting of the Board of Directors for approval to do so.”


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