Seven Peaks preparing rinks for Olympics

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    By ANGIE BERGSTROM AND CATHERINE CALDER

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    The Provo city and Utah County Ice Sheet Authority committee met Monday to discuss completion dates and budget issues for the 2002 Olympic ice rink. The rinks will be finished May 31, Max Rabner, one of the owners of the Seven Peaks Water Resort, said at the meeting.

    Final details such as the fencing and placement of the flags will continue throughout June. The new rinks are part of the Seven Peaks Resort, 1300 E. 300 North.

    Mayor Lewis Billings announced that the Salt Lake Olympic Committee would not be giving any additional funds to the Provo rinks. However, the SLOC is pleased with the results of the two ice sheets.

    “The SLOC is really excited about the facility because of the two sheet components that allow teams to come down and run practice simultaneously on both sheets as well as to be warming up prior to the game,” Rabner said.

    The new rinks will be the site for the Olympic women’s hockey competition. It will also host some early elimination rounds of the men’s hockey events.

    The two rinks won’t have ice until June due to construction, Rabner said. He said it takes two to three days to re-ice the rinks.

    Construction has been going on for months, supervised by the Ice Sheet Authority committee which involves both Provo city and Utah County representatives. Billings said he was pleased with the results the committee has had so far.

    Rick Henrie, the construction specialist, said he was excited about the completion of the rinks. Henrie has overseen the building of the Olympic facility since the beginning.

    “We’ve ended up with a real exceptional building,” Henrie said.

    Rabner said the facility will include two indoor ice sheets and an indoor soccer field with 2000 permanent seats. He also said the arena has potential to house other types of recreational activities.

    Rabner said the size of the new rinks are a benefit for the community. Originally the committee had only planned on creating only one ice sheet with 1,000 seats. The rink was scheduled to be located in an industrialized area across from a rail yard in East Bay, Rabner said.

    Rabner said the facility is already being used and will continue to be an asset to the community.

    “This type of a facility has a much longer life and more useful life before as well as after the Olympics for the community,” Rabner said. “This type of a facility has already been used extensively with on-going programming that’s developed for our youth as well as our adults.”

    Provo parks and recreation committees are attempting to put volleyball and basketball camps together for youth.

    The rinks have already been used as the site for an international speed-skating contest.

    The next meeting for the Provo City/Utah County commission will be held June 23 for discussion on the budget. A meeting discussing the Seven Peaks annex design will be held June 3.

    Bids for the annex will occur this week. The annex will be completed by mid-summer.

    The committee also discussed options for the landscaping of the Seven Peaks courtyard. Depending on funds, the group said they would like to include bronze statues.

    The committee has made plans to look into additional funding and a change in the landscape design to include five flagpoles for the American, city, state, county and Utah flags. The current design and budget only plans for three.

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