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Cost of refurbishing dilapidated ice rink would be up to €1 million, says Dundalk IT president

The Ice Dome property was first purchased by DkIT in 2014.

An exhibition hockey match at the Dundalk Ice Dome in 2008.
An exhibition hockey match at the Dundalk Ice Dome in 2008.
Image: Alamy Stock Photo

DUNDALK IT HAVE estimated that the cost of refurbishing the dilapidated ice-rink that it bought in 2014 would cost up to €1 million.

In a letter sent to the Public Accounts Committee, President of DkIT, Michael Mulvey, said that he expected the cost of refurbishing the facility to be between €500,000 and €1 million.

DkIT first purchased the Ice Dome facility in 2014, buying it alongside a closed JJB sports complex, which has since been turned into a gym and indoor soccer facility.

The facility was purchased for €3 million.

“In respect of the Ice Dome, it had already ceased operations at the time it was purchased by DklT and was idle for some time. This was not a functioning operational facility at the time of purchase,” said Mulvey, in the letter.

According to Mulvey, while DkIT did engage with a design team in 2012 to examine repairing the Ice Dome, this was not done due to the “specialised nature” of the facility as well as lack of available funding.

Mulvey said that the design team estimated that the cost of refurbishing the Ice Dome would be €315,000 in 2012.

He added that there would have been a 55% increase in the tender cost between 2012 and 2020, leading to a refurbishment cost of around €500,000.

In addition, Mulvey raised concern over the dilapidation of the facility and said that this was not considered in the original report, alongside the refrigeration plant which would cost in the region of €500,000, on top of other refurbishment costs.

DkIT has said that it does not plan on selling the facility and that they are seeking to lease the property.

Previously, the college had been in negotiations with the Irish Ice Hockey Association (IIHA), but this was dropped in February 2021 after several years of negotiations.

“The Institute is considering a lease over a purchase as the lease option provides for the flexibility to preserve the option of possible expansion for DklTSports, if that is required, or an option for possible development in DklT educational activities as the Institute expands to serve this rapidly growing region,” said Mulvey in the letter.

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“Given the cost estimates above, it is important that DKIT lease the property to a tenant of financial strength, with responsibility for all items of refurbishment, rent and outgoings.”

Mulvey said that if a tenant were to be found for the facility, they would need to be responsible for all costs around refurbishing the rink and details on how the work would be funded would need to be provided to DkIT.

IIHA negotiations

Previously, the IIHA said that DkIT unfairly ended lease negotiations with the sporting body on the Ice Dome facility.

In the letter, Mulvey disputes this, saying that DkIT dealt with the IIHA in a “very professional and open manner”.

Mulvey said that after the final proposal was submitted by the IIHA in February 2021, a “viable proposal” was not submitted and that it presented a commercial and operational risk for DkIT.

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