Town in race against clock to rebuild Metropolis Rink

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The town faces a deadline if it wants to use its insurance proceeds to fix Metropolis Rink. (Moira Sweetland photo)

The town faces a deadline if it wants to use its insurance proceeds to fix Metropolis Rink. (Moira Sweetland photo)

The fate of Canton’s beloved Metropolis Skating Rink on Route 138 remains firmly in town hands, but the clock is ticking as the town faces a February 2019 deadline to begin rehabbing or rebuilding the shuttered facility or risk losing its insurance proceeds.

Severely damaged when the roof collapsed during a morning youth hockey practice in February 2015, the rink has been out of commission ever since, and progress toward a rebuild has advanced at a snail’s pace — held up by a lengthy insurance investigation and an equally drawn-out state review process.

The latest delay stems from the state’s decision to cancel its own feasibility study, which was launched more than a year ago with the goal of analyzing operational scenarios and ultimately determining the best location for a new regional skating facility. The state Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR), which leases Metropolis to the town, announced the study in the fall of 2016 and had identified four possible sites — three in Canton and one in Norwood — before scrapping the effort due to a lack of funding and foisting the rebuild back onto Canton’s shoulders.

By the summer of 2017, Selectmen Chairman John Connolly had made it clear that Canton was in the “driver’s seat” with regard to the rink but they were not to expect any state money for the foreseeable future.

Now with a little over a year remaining before the insurance company’s deadline, the town must act fast if it wants to use the more than $4 million it has received to date. Specifically, the town must have a construction firm under contract and be ready to commence construction on the rink by February 28, 2019.

According to Town Administrator Charlie Aspinwall, officials intend to submit a placeholder article onto the May town meeting warrant requesting additional town funds (if needed) and overall project approval. If additional funds are in fact needed, Aspinwall said the town could increase its claim amount with the insurance company. He said the most recent cost estimate he has received on the rink renovations is around $3.2 million.

Because of the magnitude of the capital costs, the project has been placed under the purview of the Building Renovation Committee (BRC). The town was also required to hire an owner’s project manager (OPM) to assist with overall project planning and has selected Marlborough-based Construction Monitoring Services Inc. (CMS).

The next step for the town is procurement of design services, which is a two-phase process …

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avatar Posted by on Jan 12 2018. Filed under News, Town Government. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
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