Budapest Ice Rink Opening by Christmas - 20-month restoration ends
After repeated postponement of opening Ice Rink in City Park, it is expected to be ready by Christmas. Although, maybe things would work out better, Budapest Ice Rink can be opened even a few weeks before. The city is currantly in negotiations with general contractor that went bankrupt in the meantime.
2 December 2011
Budapest Ice Rink is actually ready for fun. Speed skating competition will be held in City Park at this weekend, but historic building of ice rink has not been complete, we have learned. The Mayor's office told that negotiations had already been under way on general contractor, and was definitely targeted to open Budapest Ice Rink for general public rather sooner than later.
When we visited the site, we found that work in progress on ice rink. The rapid completion seems to be fairly difficult by the general contractor because Hérosz Zrt. went bankrupt during the restoration project.
The City Park Ice Rink and its renovation of buildings agreed in 2008 and contracted between Municipality of Budapest and National Development Agency. The restoration project nearly costs HUF4.7 billion of which HUF3.175 billion supported from EU structural funds.
Restoration was started in Spring 2010 after public tendering for the project. The first problem came in the summer of 2010, when Hérosz Zrt. suspended the work referring to breach of contract by Municipality of Budapest. In their view, they had already spent HUF700 million on the project, but Budapest arranged HUF60 million only.
Hérosz Zrt continued the reconstruction after they made lengthy discussion about new terms and conditions of th project in August 2010. The general contractor accepted the billing terms of Budapest but the city did not accept any additional work. As a result, restortion of Budapest Ice Rink is achieved within original budget.
Thanks to technical supervisor and architect, Budapest, however, adopted appropriate and justified reason of further extended period for final handover date set 30 April 2011 (with 2 months longer than expected before).
The project was not completed by April 2011 either. The general contractor submitted a claim hundreds of HUF100 million the city did not accept. General Assembly of the Municipality of Budapest decided to increase budget with HUF37.5 in June 2011. National Office of Cultural Heritage declared extra obligations concerning facade, windows and doors, saloon of historical building compared to original obligations clarified in the building permit. November 2011 was expected to be complete at that time.
Budapest Ice Rink was temporarily opened during Fridge Festival , but opening date is unknown at the minute.
Budapest Ice Rink in City Park was opened with grand celebrations in the presence of Rudolf Crown Prince of Austria, Hungary and Bohemia on 29 January 1870. New building in Neo-baroque style was designed by Imre Francsek in 1895. Also, lake regulation started at the same time. Following Vienna, Budapest was the second city with skating rink in Europe , built in 1926. The last major reconstration , which increased the area of ice, was done in 1968.
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