09 Nov ESSEX COUNTY EXECUTIVE DIVINCENZO ANNOUNCES MODERNIZATION OF ESSEX COUNTY CODEY ARENA RINK 1 IS COMPLETE
West Orange, NJ – On Thursday, November 9th, Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr. announced that a $2.8 million project to modernize Rink 1 in Essex County Codey Arena is complete. The new refrigeration system will enable the arena to operate more efficiently and will provide a better ice skating surface. This is the first major renovation of Rink 1 since the facility opened in 1958.
“Replacing the refrigeration system in Rink 1 was a necessary improvement that has immediately provided first-class skating conditions and enhanced safety for our skaters,” DiVincenzo said. “Through the years, we have upgraded our skating facility with a new 10,000-square-foot lobby and a new refrigeration system in Rink 2. The work we did in Rink 1 means the Arena is now a completely modernized venue,” he pointed out.
“Everyone is so thrilled with the renovations. It is joy to come here,” said former Olympian JoJo Starbuck, who is an ice skating teacher at the arena. “Not many rinks have such great natural light like here and now the quality of the ice is great,” she added.
“We are committed to supporting and growing the game of hockey, and having a facility like this will only help us in our continued efforts. We are pleased to be a partner with Essex County,” said Jeff Scott of the NJ Devils grassroots program.
Also attending the ribbon cutting were skaters from the Bravo Theater on Ice and NJ Speedskating programs.
The refrigeration system that was removed was installed when the arena opened 59 years ago and was no longer operating at optimum capacity. In order to replace the original refrigeration system, the dasher boards and glass, and concrete floor under the ice surface were removed. A new refrigeration system was installed underground along with new concrete flooring, rubber matting, dasher boards and glass. In addition, a new video board with a higher definition and clearer picture replaced the old scoreboard. A similar project to upgrade the refrigeration system in Rink 2, which originally opened in 1983, was completed in 2012.
The Arena hosts the New Jersey Devils Youth Hockey Club, the New Jersey Daredevils Hockey Club, Special Olympic Skaters, The Essex Skating Club of New Jersey, Essex County High School Hockey Teams, New Jersey Interscholastic High School League Cup Playoffs, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association Championship Playoffs, adult hockey clubs and many youth recreational teams. Special events hosted at the Arena include the Essex County Athletic Directors Wrestling Tournament, High School Commencement Ceremonies, Essex Skating Club Winter ESCapade, the NJSIAA Ice Hockey Tournament and several major corporate fundraising galas.
Becht Engineering of Liberty Corner received a $145,300 contract to design the upgrades. Colonnelli Brothers of Hackensack received a publicly bid contract for $2,676,567 to perform the construction work. The Essex County Department of Public Works monitored the project to ensure delays were avoided. The project was funded through the Essex County Capital Budget and with a grant from the Essex County Recreation and Open Space Trust Fund. Construction started in March 2017 and was completed in seven months.
The arena opened in 1958 and an addition with a second ice rink was built in 1983. In 2005, an $11 million project to build a 10,000-square-foot addition in front of the facility was completed. It houses a room that is rented for a goalie school, skate rental area, food concession area, party rooms and administrative offices. In addition, existing locker rooms, offices, bathrooms and skate rental area were renovated and the building was made ADA compliant. Outdoor repairs were made to the masonry, roof, doors, windows, lighting and HVAC, and a 3,360-square-foot addition for new locker rooms and storage was built. The project was funded with grants from the State of New Jersey, the Essex County Open Space Trust Fund and the Casino Reinvestment Development Corporation, and the Essex County Capital Budget. New kitchen equipment for the concession stand was installed in 2007.