- Associated Press - Monday, January 30, 2017

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) - The University of Illinois is shutting down its ice arena from March 17 until the beginning of the fall semester so that a new ice mat and refrigeration system can be installed.

The (Champaign) News-Gazette reports (https://bit.ly/2jBIkM5 ) that means open skating won’t be available this spring and summer. School officials say the installation will cost about $1.6 million. Ice Arena representative Bill Zeman says the current refrigeration system is “old and failing” and the new one will be more efficient. The arena was built in 1931.

Zeman says University of Illinois teams that use the arena won’t be affected because their seasons will be over by the time the facility closes in March.

Installing the new systems will give university officials time to decide if they want to renovate the arena more or build a new one.

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Information from: The News-Gazette, https://www.news-gazette.com

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