The Department of Recreation and Parks is looking to update the Mt. Pleasant Ice Arena in Northeast Baltimore, with plans calling for renovations to the front lobby, arena and locker rooms and the addition of a new cafe.
An item before the Board of Estimates, if approved, would authorize a $110,000 payment to the architecture firm Murphy & Dittenhafer, Inc. to draw up designs for the Recreation and Parks plan. The vote is scheduled for Wednesday morning.
Adam Boarman, chief of capital development for the department, said the hope is for work to take place during the summer lull at the Hillen Road building. The rink currently runs on an October-May schedule.
Renovations would include a new canopy and repairs to the sidewalks and stairs outside the building; a new lobby inside with heightened ceilings, fresh paint and new logos, expanded restrooms and a bigger ticketing window; and replacing the ceiling, floors and bleachers near the skating rink.
Plans also call for redoing the four locker rooms to have individual showers and restrooms to better accommodate hockey tournaments.
“It’s a very loved facility, but we want to see it enhanced for our users,” said Boarman.
One of the biggest changes would be the replacement of a small concession stand in the lobby with a new, heated 40-seat cafe.
“We thought this would be nice for parents who want to come and watch their kids skate but also sit in a more comfortable environment and have a coffee or something like that,” said Boarman.
Per figures from the Department of Recreation and Parks, the arena hosts as many as 1,000 people on weekends and 300-400 on weekdays during hockey practices and skating lessons.
The rink serves as a practice facility for the Baltimore Figure Skating Club, which counts Olympic hopefuls Ting Cui and Ryan Dunk as members, and is home to the Baltimore Youth Hockey Club and teams Bryn Mawr School, Gilman, Calvert Hall and Boys’ Latin.
The study will determine the full cost of the project, Boarman said. Once completed, and after permits are secured, the city can field bids to complete the construction work.