Proposed ice pavilion plans continue to solidify |

Proposed ice pavilion plans continue to solidify

Truckee-Donner Recreation & Park District voted to select MWA Architects to complete a preliminary design and construction estimate for the Truckee Community Ice Pavilion Project.
Courtesy photo

UPDATE: This story has been updated for a correction. The story should have stated the West River site, 10257 West River St., is the former Nevada County Corporation Yard, which is now owned by the Town of Truckee. Planning for redevelopment of this site is under development, according to town officials, but use as a TDRPD corporation yard is not contemplated at this site. A portion of the old Town of Truckee Corporation Yard (Riverview Corp Yard, 10720 Riverview Dr.) is being considered for possible TDRPD use. The Sierra Sun regrets the error.

Plans for a full-sized, covered ice rink in Truckee continue to crystalize as Truckee-Donner Recreation & Park District voted to select MWA, Inc. Architecture-Engineering to complete a preliminary design and construction estimate for the Truckee Community Ice Pavilion Project.

“That’s big news because, having done the community center and the aquatic center when I was chairmen of the rec district, once you select an architect that gets you to about 30 percent (of the way there),” said the project’s Kevin Murphy. “Once you get construction estimates it gets you to about 40 percent … now you’re getting closer to shovel ready.

“The biggest impediment right now is the General Plan update for the Town of Truckee, coupled with our current election for town council.”

Original plans to expand the current rink on Old Brockway Road and build a steel structure covering it have changed course, and the project is now proposing a new full-sized, covered rink overlooking downtown Truckee and the railyard project.

“We wrote within the specifications looking for architects, we want natural stone, and we want wood,” said Murphy. “But it’s got to meet this anti-steel building mentality that exists.”

Instead of steel, the rink is now planned to primarily make use of natural stone and wood building materials. The ice pavilion is proposed to be regulation size at 200 feet by 85 feet, and will include the installation of dasher boards and glass.

Project developers cited more than 40 different uses for the proposed facility, which will be used year-round, varying from ice skating, hockey and curling, to indoor soccer, roller disco, concerts and farmers markets.

“If you put a stage on the northern side, now you’ve got a covered venue overlooking the town of Truckee where people can gather and have a lot of fun,” said Murphy.

The proposed pavilion will be covered but open on the sides, and could possibly be temporarily fully enclosed for certain events.

“In terms of a financial model, it must be a 12-month facility that maximizes public use, so that the rec district can end up with a facility that’s not going to be a drag on their budget,” said Murphy. “Because they’re the ones that will have to maintain the facility.”

Earlier in the year, the project received $50,000 from the recreation and park district, and another $50,000 from the Truckee Tourism Business Improvement District.

The partnership between the two districts marks the first time they have worked together, according to Jenny Fellows of Truckee Community Ice Pavilion Project, helping to move forward plans that have been roughly 20 years in the making.

It’s been more than 100 years since Truckee had a covered ice skating rink, according to Murphy, after the town’s Ice Palace, near where Cottonwood Restaurant is today, burned down in 1916. And if all goes smoothly, skaters could be on the pavilion’s ice for the 2021 season.

“Ice is in our blood up here,” Murphy said. “It’s who we are, it’s in our history. We need to understand that from a winter standpoint it’s the things we can do to get us out of the house and the more people who can join us in this journey, the better off we are. We need support.”

Justin Scacco is a reporter for the Sierra Sun. Contact him at

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