Construction crews have been busy on the initial phase of a multimillion-dollar renovation project at Grippen Park in the town of Union.

Excavators were used to rip up the base of the old West Endicott ice rink and remove what was left of a flood-damaged cooling system.

The ice-making system was wrecked by flooding in April 2005, causing contamination from antifreeze that leaked from the equipment.

The interior of the old ice rink building at Grippen Park in West Endicott. Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News
The interior of the old ice rink building at Grippen Park in West Endicott. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)
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A big makeover of the building that housed the rink is planned. Other enhancements also will be made to the surrounding park.

Broome County Executive Jason Garnar told WNBF News the first part of the project is to put in a new foundation to begin reconstruction of the building.

The Grippen Park ice rink building on May 14, 2023. Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News
The Grippen Park ice rink building on May 14, 2023. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)
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Garnar said while work has started at the park, steps will be taken to ensure the project doesn't interfere with the Dick's Sporting Goods Open golf tournament. That event will be taking place in a few weeks at the neighboring En-Joie Golf Course.

The county executive said the existing building will be renovated, inside and outside. Ice is expected to be available for recreational skating during the cold weather months. Steps will be taken to make the building flood-resilient.

The entranceway to the old ice rink at the West Endicott park along the Susquehanna River. Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News
The entranceway to the old ice rink at the West Endicott park along the Susquehanna River. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)
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Garnar said plans call for pickle ball courts and basketball courts, along with an area for concerts and other events. There also will be an outside wiffle ball field and an accessible playground. The parking lot also will be repaved.

The basic building renovations are expected to be completed this year. The remaining park amenities likely will become available for use during 2024. The Grippen Park upgrades are expected to cost between $2 million and $3 million.

An existing field at Grippen Park in the town of Union. Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News
An existing field at Grippen Park in the town of Union. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)
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Contact WNBF News reporter Bob Joseph: bob@wnbf.com or (607) 545-2250. For breaking news and updates on developing stories, follow @BinghamtonNow on Twitter.

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