The Berkley City Council approved a contract at its June 17 meeting with Inner City Contracting to demolish the city’s ice arena, which is expected to start in July.

The Berkley City Council approved a contract at its June 17 meeting with Inner City Contracting to demolish the city’s ice arena, which is expected to start in July.

Photo by Mike Koury


Berkley hires company to demolish ice arena

By: Mike Koury | Woodward Talk | Published June 24, 2019

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BERKLEY — The Berkley City Council approved a contract with a Detroit company to demolish the city’s decades-old ice arena.

At its June 17 meeting, the council approved the agreement with Inner City Contracting to conduct the demolition of the Berkley Ice Arena for a price not to exceed $287,837.

Parks and Recreation Director Theresa McArleton told the Woodward Talk that there isn’t an exact start date for the demolition to begin, but the city is aiming for the second or third week in July.

Inner City Contracting was the lowest of the six bids the city received for the project; McArleton said the city looked in-depth at the qualifications and references for the three lowest bids and saw that they all had good references and qualifications for similar work done locally.

“There was nothing disqualifying about the lowest bid,” she said. “In the interests of the city, it’s also our responsibility to be financially responsible, and so we did take the lowest bid because they had good references, they had good qualifying work and the lowest bid, so we felt confident going forward with them.”

Curtis Johnson, president of Inner City Contracting, said at the council meeting that the biggest thing with the demolition is safety and dust, and that the company will do what it needs to do to get the job done as quickly and as safely as possible.

“Our model is to be a good neighbor, and we know we’re an extension of you guys, and we’re going to perform our work in a safe, fast, quick … quiet (manner),” he said. “We appreciate the opportunity and I’ll make you all proud.”

The ice arena opened 45 years ago in 1974, but it was closed in October 2016 after a coolant leak was found. Unable to make a permanent repair to the ice rink, the city used the building for other uses since shutting down. It was last used for Berkley Days in 2018.

“This is an emotional event for the city to lose the arena, so I’m happy to hear that you are going to take it down with the requisite care, not only concern for the building, but for the residents around it, and as efficiently as possible,” Mayor Dan Terbrack said to Johnson.

McArleton, a longtime Berkley resident, reflected on the ice arena’s lifespan and the individuals and hockey teams that skated at the rink, including herself as a child, and she thanked the people who, more than four decades ago, were able to bring this building to life.

“For me, it’s all about them,” she said. “It’s such an institution in Berkley. It’s a historical thing. It’s an emotional thing, and it’s emotional because so many people skated their hearts out there and really worked hard to make it last for the four-plus decades that it did. That’s how I want it to be remembered for all those people.”

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