City of Bowie considers new ice rink, again

In 2019, the city of Bowie, Maryland, signed off on plans to build a new ice rink with two sheets of ice that city leaders were told would make the facility profitable.

Then a year later, after a shakeup on the City Council, the city voted to scrap the project.

Now, the city is once again considering a new rink.

The City Council heard a presentation Monday from Minnesota-based 292 Design Group, which has built rinks all around the country. This new ice rink, with just one sheet of ice, would be built along Maryland Route 197 on property that already includes the city-owned golf course.

The location of the previously proposed rink was on Church Road where it crosses over U.S. Route 50.

The cost of the new rink, when all is said and done, would be about $20.7 million.

Designs for the proposed $20.7 million Bowie ice arena. Click to see full-size. (Courtesy City of Bowie)

About $3 million of the total price tag is due to a city requirement that all new construction be certified LEED Silver.

“How we design ice arenas, they might not be LEED Silver but they’re very sustainable,” said Tom Betti of 292 Design Group.

“We’re recapturing heat already from mechanical systems we’re using. Good insulation systems. We put more insulation on a roof than typical office buildings. We just know what it takes to run these things. We’re dealing with the stormwater-runoff management already.”

But when you get into things like water re-use, it starts to add to the costs.

“That increases all your piping and so on,” said Betti. “If you did LEED Silver you have to use recycled water, we’d have to do more commissioning … so it just adds costs.”

Studies show the new facility being proposed also wouldn’t have any impact on traffic in the community where it would be built.

City leaders are expected to vote on the measure later this month when it takes up other budget items, too. A source says the votes are likely to be there to approve the measure, but with the city’s financial picture worsening, the cost of replacing water and sewer pipes will also factor into the discussion of this project.

John Domen

John started working at WTOP in 2016 after having grown up in Maryland listening to the station as a child. While he got his on-air start at small stations in Pennsylvania and Delaware, he's spent most of his career in the D.C. area, having been heard on several local stations before coming to WTOP.

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