Previous story: Subsidence causes ice rink to close (10/11/12)

News-DemocratNovember 11, 2013 

— The U.S. Ice Sports Complex is closed and will remain closed while experts determine what to do about mine subsidence that has damaged the building and the ice rinks.

The complex closed Tuesday and it remained closed Wednesday. All activities are suspended until further notice, according to Leon Lekai, manager of U.S. Ice LLC, the company that owns and manages the complex.

Advisers from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and structural engineers hired by the facility have been evaluating the building since Monday, Lekai said.

"As always, our No. 1 concern is customer and staff safety," Lekai stated. "In light of the developments, management of the facility, early Tuesday afternoon, made the decision to suspend operations until further assessments can be made. The damage is not bad, right now, it's just a shifting of the building. There isn't a safety issue with the building but it was our decision to suspend operations. We've closed the building to be conservative."

Lekai said it could take several weeks to analyze the extent of the mine collapse that caused damage to the building and develop an estimate on how long the ground will continue to subside.

The 75,000-square-foot facility, located at 125 S. Ruby Lane, has two National Hockey League-sized rinks and hosts numerous activities such as men's and youth hockey leagues, church groups, public sessions and private rentals.

The complex opened in May 1998. It was built with the help of a $575,000 investment from the city. That loan was paid off in 2006.

The complex has locker rooms, the two ice rinks, concession stands, a vending area, a pro shop, a video game room, party room and a business office.

Hockey season and ice-skating season will soon be in full swing and Lekai said he does not yet have a time frame for when the complex may reopen.

"This is the season where customers want access to the facility," he said. "It's as much a disappointment to us as it is for our customers."

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