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Consultant will determine whether municipal arena’s roof leaks

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Almost every time a downpour hits, the city’s Municipal Arena ends up with about 20 puddles on its floor.

The Parks and Recreation Department staff then has to put down pails and buckets, mop up the floor and place “wet floor” signs around the building, which is at the Alex T. Duffy Fairgrounds off Coffeen Street.

The city soon will seek a consultant to determine whether the building’s 35-year-old roof is leaking. The city’s engineering office plans to put together a request for proposals for engineering firms to figure out what is causing the puddles and whether the roof has to be replaced or repaired.

City Engineer Kurt W. Hauk said the roof could be leaking, or the problem could be with the ventilation system. The city also will look at whether the building’s sprinkler system should be upgraded.

The request for proposals should be distributed in the next couple of weeks, with the deadline for submissions next month, Mr. Hauk said.

“They’ll evaluate what’s going on and give us a solid recommendation what the fix is,” he said.

In her seven months on the job, Parks and Recreation Superintendent Erin E. Gardner said, she has noticed that water collects below the main beam along the roof’s peak and at the trusses.

City Councilman Jeffrey M. Smith said he first noticed the problem about 10 years ago and is convinced the roof leaks, despite constant disagreement from city staff.

“It’s clearly been a problem, and it’s been a problem for a decade,” Mr. Smith said. “I’m glad it’s finally going to be addressed.”

The last time the roof leaked was right before the Bravo Italiano Festival kicked off in mid-September, he said.

Before that, a torrential downpour on July 26 resulted in major leaks and puddles, just two days before Bill Cosby’s performance in the 2012 DPAO/Toyota/Car-Freshner Summer Concert Series. Staff cleaned up the mess, and it didn’t interfere with the show.

Mrs. Gardner reported the situation to City Manager Sharon A. Addison, while Mr. Smith brought up the issue at a subsequent council meeting.

About 10 years ago, the staff came up with a $200,000 to $250,000 cost estimate on roof replacement; that rose a few years ago to $650,000.

The roof evaluation comes just as the city waits to see if it obtains state funding to complete a nearly $5.7 million upgrade, which would include some type of roof work.

The ice rink became the home of the Thousand Islands Privateers in the Federal Hockey League this season.

So far, the water problems have not affected the Privateers, Mrs. Gardner said.

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