As one city official put it, progress on Clayton’s new Shaw Park Ice Rink has been “a long time coming.”
The plan commission/architectural review board on Feb. 3 unanimously approves the project’s site plan, but tabled a vote on the architectural review of the project. The city is considering replacing the current ice rink and building with a larger, covered rink and a new support building that would also serve the Shaw Park tennis courts.
Several members of the board said that they support a cover for the rink, but that the current design makes it seem too massive. Steve Mueller, with Chiodini Architects, said the firm would alter the design and bring it back.
Mueller was asked about the possibility of incorporating skylights. He advised against it, stating that athletes at outdoor rinks often complain about being blinded by sunlight. Sunlight problems, he said, have been reported at the outdoor rink at the new hockey facility in Maryland Heights, which opened late 2019. One proposed change is the expansion of a drop-off area along Brentwood Boulevard, near Bonhomme, which will include four ADA spots. The board also recommended that a walking path from drop off area to the tennis courts be made more visible.
The presentation to the plan commission/architectural review board was the second discussion of the project within a week. During a discussion session Jan. 28, Director of Parks and Recreation Patty DeForrest gave a presentation to the board of aldermen.
She reported that some preliminary work had already been done, including the removal of the dasher boards around the rink, and taking down much of the interior of the building. She said as much of the material as possible is being recycled, with 48,000 pounds of material saved from going to landfills. The dasher boards were bought by a company in Colorado which resold them, and she said they are now being used in Chicago.
DeForrest said there is a small amount of asbestos that will have to be mitigated when the existing building comes down, and the city will attempt to make the new structure meet at least a silver level of LEED certification.
DeForrest predicted some difficulty, as ice rinks tend to have issues with energy efficiency. A small number of trees are being taken down as part of the project, but will be replaced in other parts of Shaw Park. Landscaping will also include flower beds, which will be used to obscure a MSD water retention area.
DeForrest said there are no plans for solar panels on the roof of the rink. The approximate $1 million cost of the panels is not in the budget, she added, but the roof could be designed in such a way that panels could be added later. The estimated cost of the new rink is $15,123,657. DeForrest said that the city has $13,092,208.
Funding will come from a number of sources, including 20 year bonds which will be issued later this year, and through private donations. At the state of the city address in January, Mayor Michelle Harris said Clayton-based Centene Corporation had made a major donation.
“This will be a transformative piece for Shaw Park, and it is a huge piece that we have been waiting for for a long time,” said the mayor. “It will make us a part of the youth hockey system, and we can capitalize on that, and our high school will be able to capitalize on that. We will be competing with (other facilities in the area) on that.”