Skating-rink plan in Truckee not iced yet |

Skating-rink plan in Truckee not iced yet

Jenny Goldsmith / Sierra Sun

Submitted illustration An architectural rendering shows an ice rink proposed in Truckee.

Nearly nine months ago, Truckee resident John Hugo set forth on his mission to develop a state-of-the-art indoor ice rink in Truckee.

On Thursday, Hugo – a real-estate financier and hockey enthusiast – said he hopes to see that mission through when he delivers architectural renderings and discusses his updated ice-rink proposal to the Truckee-Donner Recreation and Park District board of directors.

Originally intended as an Olympic-sized indoor skating rink, Hugo since has downsized the project to a National Hockey League-sized arena to better suit the park district land he is seeking.

Hugo and his project partner, Steve Weiss of South Lake Tahoe, once again will be asking the park district board for the possible use of the rodeo grounds, but this time they are proposing the district relocate the rodeo arena approximately 100 yards north of the current location, therefore providing space for the year-round rink, Hugo said.

The relocation also could provide an opportunity to make some improvements to the current rodeo ring, Hugo said. “It’s the perfect location in terms of the land area. … There’s good exposure and good traffic patterns,” he said.

The verdict still is out on whether the park district will enter the public-private venture, but Board Director Marshall Lewis said he has “some doubts about the business model.”

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“I can’t speak for the whole board, but I personally don’t see it,” Lewis said. “There has to be multiple types of use at the grounds … and I do not know whether the community could support this type of operation.”

However, Marshall said he could not deny the community’s enthusiasm for this type of year-round indoor facility.

“We’ve got our hands full with the new community center,” Marshall said. “But we’re committed to trying to make ice skating happen sooner or later.”

Although a space has yet to be finalized, Hugo has been working with Reno-based Sweeney Architecture and I.D.E.A. Developments, Inc. on preliminary designs for the environmentally-friendly facility.

Both firms are familiar with Town of Truckee building requirements as well as the importance of sustainability, said Tim Sweeney, president of Sweeney Architecture.

Sustainable techniques for the proposed rink could include a waste-heating system, recycled building materials, a natural-daylight harvesting system and solar panels, said Sweeney, who has his Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification.

“It’s always something we try to focus on,” Sweeney said. “We’ll use as many maintenance-free, environmentally-friendly recycled products as possible.”