Unnamed party may be interested in closed Fairview Heights ice rink

News-DemocratJanuary 30, 2014 

An independent third party is paying for structural analysis to be done at the site of the U.S. Ice Sports Complex in Fairview Heights, which closed in 2012 due to mine subsidence.

"There is a third party that is interested in potentially purchasing the property," said Mike Malloy, Fairview Heights director of economic development.

Malloy did not release the name of the party.

In November, the Fairview Heights City Council tabled a motion to approve spending $3,600 to pay a firm to conduct a structural assessment of the complex at 125 S. Ruby Lane.

After that, "the third party decided to pay for the structural analysis," Malloy said.

The structural analysis aims to find out if the rink is "feasible to purchase or are the repairs out of the ballpark," Malloy said.

Also, the owner of the ice rink has paid fines issued by the city, according to Malloy.

"Basically the owner is cooperating with the city in terms of the subsidence," Malloy said.

In November, the News-Democrat reported that rink owner Leon Lekai had not paid fines from August issued for citations for parking lot violations, grass/weeds, roof drainage and an unsecured entrance.

"The owner basically responded to code enforcement issues and paid a fine, and we're monitoring it," said City Administrator Jim Snider.

Lekai could not be reached for comment.

The complex closed in October 2012 when damage from a mine settling beneath the complex was discovered.

The 75,000-square-foot facility has two National Hockey League-sized rinks. It held men's and youth hockey leagues, church groups, public sessions and private rentals.

The Southern Illinois IceHawks formerly practiced at the rink. President Pat McLeod could not be reached for comment.

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.

Contact reporter Maria Hasenstab at mhasenstab@bnd.com or 618-239-2460.

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