The Loring Arena renovation are on hold, after bids for the project came in more than $1 million higher than expected, Framingham Town Manager Bib Halpin told Framingham Selectmen Tuesday night.
Overwhelmingly, Town Meeting voted (106-35-7) last spring to approve spending $5.7 million to renovate the skating rink that pened in 1963, after the Framingham High hockey team won the state championship in 1961.
“Based on the actual bid opening we are probably just short of $1 million over,” said Halpin to Selectmen.
There were seven bidders ranging from a high of $7.8 million and a low of $6.23 million. G.V.W. was the low bidder.
“Needless to say, we are disappointed,” added Halpin.
The renovations include creating both a girls and boys locker room, as opposed to the current unisex one, and improve handicapped access.
It was suggested at the meeting that the Loring Arena Legacy Foundation raise the additional money, like the Framingham Library Foundation raised $600,000 towards the construction of the new Christa McAuliffe Library branch that opened earlier this year.
Framingham State University, whose hockey team uses the rink, donated money towards the renovations project already.
The rink is used from about 5 a.m. to after 11 p.m. for about 7 to 8 months of the year.
Numerous hockey programs, Framingham Parks & Recreation’s learn to skate programs and public skating is available at the rink.