Originally created 04/24/98

Ice floor installer selected



With a new practice facility for the Augusta Lynx announced earlier in the week, plans for the minor-league hockey team's $1 million game-day playing surface inched forward Thursday.

A special committee of the Augusta-Richmond County Coliseum Authority chose a Canadian company to install the ice floor in the Augusta-Richmond County Civic Center.

The committee's recommendation of Toronto-based Simco-Lewis will come before the full coliseum authority Tuesday.

Simco-Lewis has worked on more than 4,000 ice surfaces and installed all the National Hockey League's ice floors in Canada as well as new facilities in Detroit and Phoenix, said Civic Center General Manager Pat Cumiskey.

"They are the Cadillac of ice floor builders," he said.

But authority member Joe Scott questioned the thoroughness of the bid selection process. "It seems like you were presenting a commercial for Simco-Lewis," he told Mr. Cumiskey, who recommended Simco-Lewis.

Authority members expressed concern about who will be responsible if the ice equipment proves faulty.

But Mr. Cumiskey said Simco-Lewis will provide a one-year warranty on the whole system, a five-year warranty on the compressor and a one-year, guaranteed performance bond.

"We gotta have an ice rink," said authority Chairman Bill Maddox. "I don't know what else you can ask for."

Construction surrounding the civic center's ice floor is supposed to begin in June and will wipe out most of the summer bookings in the facility.

The Augusta IceForum, where the Lynx will practice, will be built on Augusta West Parkway next to Augusta West shopping center between Wheeler and Wrightsboro roads.