Officials are looking at other pieces of Seven Peaks Resort property on which to build a Winter Olympic ice rink because secondary earthquake faults run through the area originally proposed for the facility.
Seven Peaks had planned to donate land immediately east of its administrative offices at the base of Maple Mountain for the ice rink. Recent geo-technical studies, however, revealed that the ground sits on two earth fractures extending from the Wasatch Fault."We can build close to the fault. We just don't want to be on top of it," David Brems, an architect with Gillies Stransky Brems Smith of Salt Lake City. The firm was hired by the Utah Sports Authority to design the facility.
"We feel we can find another site on the property," said Marlo Jensen, coordinator of special projects for Provo's economic development office. "We don't see that we have a serious problem."
Kent Compton, Seven Peaks director of mountain operations, recommended three other Seven Peaks locations for consideration:
- Land west of the golf course.
- A grass-covered area southwest of the water park.
- A portion of the parking lot east of the water park.
Compton and city officials plan to meet with Seven Peaks owner Victor Borcherds to weigh the pros and cons of each site before making a decision this week. Also, Brems said geo-technical studies would be conducted on each parcel.
The location then must be approved by the Sports Authority board, which oversees the use of $54 million in sales-tax revenue for Olympic facilities construction. Provo received $100,000 of that money to design the ice rink.
Once the rink is built, the state would assume ownership of the facility, which would be available for community use. During the Winter Games, should they come to Utah, the ice sheet would be used for Olympic hockey and figure skating practice. After the Olympics, the rink is to be turned over to Provo.
Construction of the rink is largely dependent upon Salt Lake City being awarded the 1998 Winter Games. That decision will be made by the International Olympic Committee next month in Birmingham, England.
Jim Young, a Sports Authority board member from Provo, said he believes the rink may be built regardless of the IOC vote. Brems said there is definitely a need for ice in Utah County. A rink could be "successful, perhaps profitable" in Provo, he said.
Funding for the project, in either case, has yet to be determined. It is estimated to cost about $5 million.
"At this point, we really don't know how this is going to be funded," said Rex Loker, an architect with the state Division of Facilities Construction and Management.
Sports Authority board members said rinks in Provo and Salt Lake City would be paid for with revenues received from selling broadcast rights to the Olympics and from corporate sponsorhips.