- Associated Press - Sunday, June 15, 2014

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - Lincoln officials are ready to sign off on a new ice skating rink seven years after getting a $7 million donation for the project.

The Lincoln Journal Star reported (http://bit.ly/1iz4dSu ) that the City Council is scheduled to vote on the project by the end of June. The University of Nebraska Board of Regents approved its role in the project in May.

Once the city approves the agreement, construction can begin. University officials hope the ice rink will be ready next year.

“We are shooting for having it open in fall semester 2015,” said Mark Miller, director of facilities and construction for the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Former state auditor John Breslow first announced his intention to donate $7 million for the ice rink in 2007. But the project languished while university and city officials focused on finishing the Pinnacle Bank arena for basketball and events.

Breslow’s family owned Linweld for more than 60 years before selling the business in 2006. The company manufactures and distributes medical, specialty and industrial gases and welding supplies.

He was state auditor from 1991 to 1999, but now lives in Las Vegas and Phoenix.

The $11 million ice center will include one professional-size ice rink and the ability to add a second rink in the future.

The West Haymarket Joint Public Agency agreed to contribute $2 million toward the project. The city will contribute land valued at $820,684 and do up to $200,000 in site preparation work.

The city also agreed to cover up to half the center’s operating losses during the first five years, but that amount is capped at $40,000 a year.

The ice center will offer at least 16 hours of open skating a month. Hockey and figure skating clubs from the community will be able to rent at least 50 percent of the hours.

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Information from: Lincoln Journal Star, http://www.journalstar.com