FRAMINGHAM – The City of Framingham’ will formally hold a grand re-opening ceremony for Loring Arena later this month, announced the Mayor’s office this morning.
The rink opened last hockey season, after undergoing renovations for the past three years.
These renovations have included Americans With Disabilities Act compliance updates such as dedicated accessible seating, improved access to the ice surface and restrooms/locker rooms, and elevator access to the second floor and bleacher seating, said the City in a media release.
These improvements, along with building code and life safety upgrades, ensure an improved experience for all users and spectators, aid the City in a media release.
Everyone is invited to attend and enjoy the renovated rink. Don’t forget your skates!
For the ceremony, Mayor Yvonne M. Spicer, City Councilors, members of the Loring Arena Advisory Committee, Parks & Recreation Commissioners, and representatives from Framingham Youth Hockey, as well as members of the Framingham High School hockey programs and the Framingham State University hockey program will be in attendance.
4-4:20 p.m. Grand re-opening ceremony
4:30-5:20 p.m. Free community skate
5:30-6:30 p.m. Framingham High School Boys & Girls Scrimmage
6:40-8:20 p.m. Framingham Youth Hockey and Framingham State
In 2015, Town Meeting voted 106-35-7 to support the project, which would put the rink into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and create gender equity within the rink.
Town Meeting authorized $5.66 million in April 2015.
When Loring Arena was built in the 1960s, women’s hockey was not as popular, as it is today.
Framingham built Edward F. Loring Arena to honor its 1961 state championship hockey team. The arena located on Fountain Street opened in 1963.
Part of the renovations included creating both a girls and boys locker room, as opposed to the former unisex one.
In April 2016, seven bids for the project were opened and they ranged in price from a high of $7.8 million to a low of $6.23 million.
Town of Framingham re-bid the project. Despite interest from more than 125 contractors, there were again only seven bidders.
Bids ranged from $5.6 million to $6.9 million, with the low bidder Connecticut-based Lupachino/Salvatore, a Bloomfield, at $5.634 million. That company just completed the Christa McAuliffe branch library project on time and under budget.
In October 2016, Town Meeting authorized an additional $388,000 for the renovations.
Framingham State University, whose hockey team uses the rink, donated $250,000 towards the renovations project.
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.
The project was not completed on time and there is a lawsuit pending with the project.
The rink did open for the season late last year.
Petroni Media Company photo of the Framingham vs Natick High girls ice hockey game last season at Loring Arena.