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Watertown officials to tour Potsdam’s new arena

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Watertown city officials will take a road trip Wednesday to look at SUNY Potsdam’s newly renovated $8.7 million ice arena.

The Watertown City Council and city staff want to tour Maxcy Hall Arena as council members consider a similar project for the city’s 40-year-old arena.

This past year, Maxcy Hall Arena underwent a complete makeover with the addition of better seating, a new press box, a bigger ice surface, new locker rooms and new offices.

On Monday night, council members Joseph M. Butler Jr. and Teresa R. Macaluso reiterated their concerns for the project’s cost at the Watertown Municipal Arena as the city faces tough financial times during the next two years.

“Don’t misconstrue. I’m not against it,” Mr. Butler said. “I’m playing devil’s advocate.”

Stantec Consulting Services, a Rochester engineering firm, proposed three options ranging from 9.7 million to $11.1 million. Since then, staff and Stantec have found ways to reduce its cost to about $7.8 million.

As it stands, the project includes a new entrance and lobby, a main locker room and hospitality room, more office space and a combined training-break locker room. Plans also call for a second floor to accommodate bleachers with an entrance from above, rather than at rink level.

By having the public enter from above, the design would create separate entrances for hockey teams and fans. The ice rink’s roof, concrete floor and refrigeration system also would be replaced.

Parks and Recreation Superintendent Erin E. Gardner told council members the Potsdam facility also includes a new entrance for fans.

Council members intend to discuss the project at next Monday’s work session.

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