Park board: NHL-sized rink for Simpson Pavilion

Details come together as design takes shape

Park board chooses rink size

BEND, Ore. - The Bend Parks and Recreation Board made more decisions Tuesday evening about the details of the Simpson Pavilion, one of several projects on the voter-approved bond measure in November 2012.

The park board decided the pavilion will have an NHL-sized ice rink, and they'll use an in-slab ice refrigeration system.

While weighing the pros and cons, the board and staff believe their decision will make the pavilion a regional attraction.

"It's clearly another major feature for winter tourism in the community," said Services Director Matt Mercer.  

With the size of the rink chosen, and a refrigeration system that will last 25-plus years. board Chair Scott Wallace said the complete design of the $11.3 million  pavilion should be finalized in a couple of months.

"I think we're at a point where we can proceed with the design," Wallace said. "We have the luxury of a little more time to determine the final composition and make of the court surfaces."

The plan is to have the ice rink available between November and March for numerous winter sports. It will be the first of its kind in the area.

"Bend has had some smaller ice rinks, but this really provides a viable ice option for ice hockey, figure skating and all those ice sport things," Mercer said.

The rest of the year, the pavilion will serve as a multi-purpose recreational facility.

"We intend to do a lot of different sports," Mercer said. "Everything from basketball, volleyball, tennis, pickleball -- you name it, and we want to be able to do it in there."

The pavilion is just another amenity that should make Bend an even more attractive destination.

"This facility in the heart of Bend, at least in the winter months, will be a draw for residents, as well as tourists and visitors to the community," Wallace said.

The board said once they finalize a design, they'll pick a contractor and plan to start building this summer. The Simpson Pavilion is expected to be operating by the fall of 2015.

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