TROY — Troy City Council unanimously OK’d Hobart Arena’s $7.35 million expansion and renovation plans at its committee Monday meeting.
All members of council were present. President Marty Baker said no public comments would be taken at the committee meeting, although public comments would be available during the next council meeting.
Hobart Arena Director Ken Siler presented renderings of the arena’s planned 26,282-square-foot expansion, which is mostly to the north of the arena for “back-of-the-house” operation to set up for arena shows, locker rooms, kitchen and multi-purpose area. Renovation work will expand the arena’s corridor to improve pedestrian flow, improved and expanded restroom facilities and concession stand access.
According to the council packet information, the original estimate for the project was $6.55 million. The increased project costs includes an additional $250,000 of improvement repairs to the nearly 65-year-old facility.
According to Siler, repair work will include renovation and opening of concourses and finishes, replacement of skate resistant flooring, steel rigging grid work, replacement of arena lighting and controls, relocation of smoking area, repair to necessary walls and concrete, replacement of refrigerant condenser and receiver, repairs to exterior concrete canopies, repair exterior leaks in walls and roofing, replacement of rotted/degraded roof decking, repair of sewer line leak in corridor floor, replacement of domestic water piping, and replacement of existing water heaters.
Siler said the facility will add more restrooms to the arena. Men’s restrooms will expand from 17 up to 47 and women’s from 13 up to 47 restrooms. The expansion will also allow 17 points of sale for its four concessions areas in the four corners of the facility, which will be located on the exterior walls of the arena.
Members of council took turns asking Siler and city engineer Jillian Rhoades about the arena’s plans. A member of the design firm MSA Sport of Cincinnati was also in attendance.
President Baker asked what would happen to the Hall of Fame and other displays. Siler said they are looking at moving the majority of the Hall of Fame pieces to the expanded south entrance, which will serve as the main entrance near the parking lot. The cost to add a south entrance is approximately $550,000, which will include a second main entrance, lobby and box office area.
‘There will be more smaller items items display along with the plaques,” Siler said.
Baker also asked if ticket ordering and pick-up would be moved from its current second floor area to the first floor. Siler said the south entrance ticket office would be available on the first floor.
“Our plan is to have a staff member who primarily manages our ticketing to have an office so that we have the ability to sell tickets from that lobby space during normal business hours,” he said.
Baker asked Siler if there would be a need to increase staffing due to the expansion.
“That’s a tough question to answer at this point,” Siler said. “I don’t necessarily know where this is going to lead us. We’re challenged currently with our staff numbers that we have both from the office side and from the operation side. Adding these amenities and what potential business this could drive, I don’t think I could answer that question right now.”
Baker also asked about the locker rooms and shower facilities for the ice hockey and other patrons. Siler said four locker room areas will be located at the north end of the building. Council member Tom Kendall asked if the locker rooms would be able to fit a full hockey team. Siler said the locker room could hold up to 22 members.
Alan Clark asked with the south entrance box offices being outside, would they be protected by the weather.
Siler said an overhang would be above the outside box office windows. Siler said the majority of Hobart Arena event tickets are sold online rather than the night of the show.
Clark also asked if the expansion and renovation would expanded seating at the arena, which Siler said it would not.
“Seating will not be impacted and will remain the same as it is currently,” Siler said.
Clark asked if the expansion would allow the arena to bring in different events in the future.
“I think it will certainly allow us to do more events and I think our level of events, not necessarily will be impact in terms of level of act, our seating capacity is our seating capacity,” Siler said. “But I think it’s going to give us more ability to secure additional acts on the same levels.”
Clark also asked how parking would be impacted, which Siler said at the north end of the arena, the access between the arena and Troy Aquatic Park would be most affected, which will slow down traffic through the areas.
Siler said there is a shortage of parking, especially during a full-scale event, which fills up the arena, Community Park, Memorial Stadium and even across the Adams Street Bridge areas.
Council member Tom Kendall asked how far away the multi-purpose room would be from Adams Street. According to Rhoades, 50-60 feet will separate the new addition from the roadway.
In the renovation portion of the bid is two alternates. The first alternate is for the final phase of the boiler replacement project, which is estimated to cost $245,000 and the second is a bid to improve the arena’s catwalk at an estimated $276,000, including the demolition of the existing catwalk.
According to the report, if the alternates are not awarded, the final phase of boiler system and catwalk will be requested in the arena’s five-year capital improvement plan.
The expansion and renovation of Hobart Arena is part of the city of Troy’s Riverfront Development project. The Riverfront Development project also includes the $960,000 Treasure Island marina renovation and $1.686 million Treasure Island Park revitalization project. Both Treasure Island projects are currently under way.