The Olympic Regional Development Authority Board of Directors has approved initial steps to upgrade both the Olympic Center and the adjacent speed skating oval in Lake Placid.
During the July 29th monthly board meeting, ORDA directors approved a resolution that allows management to move forward with designs and schematics to renovate Olympic facilities within the village of Lake Placid.
Immediately following the vote Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism CEO Jim McKenna told the ORDA Board it had made a significant decision. “It was April of 1977 when the groundbreaking happened for the ’80 rink and the Olympic Center Complex and renovations of the speed skating oval. And I think we all now see the results of what that’s created for this area over the last 42 years. What you just did today is as significant if not more so because the improvements to this facility is really the hub of the whole activity here. And I think it’s going to be something that is going to be maintaining the legacy and vision of what this community was going back to the early 1900’s.”
ORDA Spokesman Jon Lundin says it is the first time in 42 years that the Olympic Center and speed skating oval will be modernized. “They are still in use but it’s the wear and the tear of more than 42 years of being used. Infrastructure underneath the oval has really worn out its life expectancy. We’ve done a great job in keeping that oval in operation for the winter months but you know it’s time now to really replace the infrastructure and the cooling system there. And the same can be said for the Olympic Center as well. In order to keep Lake Placid in the forefront we really needed to update these venues so that we can continue to attract the events that we’ve been able to attract.”
Lake Placid Mayor Craig Randall says the conceptual plans meet common sense needs and says he doesn’t see anything frivolous in the initial designs. “What I saw was real needs. And you know these are all conceptual plans at this point and ORDA was quick to point that out. They needed to make these conceptual plans public in order for them to take the next steps which are the actual engineering and the applications for the various permits that are going to be needed for various parts of the work they’re doing. So this fits in nicely with the work that’s being done at the ski jumps, other work that’s being done at Mt. Van Hoevenberg and of course Whiteface in recent years has had an ongoing program of upgrading the facilities.”
The plans and schematic designs will allow ORDA to seek bids on the estimated $100 million project. The goal is to begin work by this November with completion prior to the 2023 Winter World University Games.