Arena construction is still on schedule

Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 19, 2002

The progress of Packer Arena was pronounced Wednesday afternoon by Austin Youth Hockey Association President Dean Roberts as "on schedule" at a press conference at the site of the new hockey venue.

Austin City Engineer Jon Erichson said the enhancements at Riverside Arena -- including a new refrigeration system and new lockerrooms -- will be completed in time to meet its Oct. 12 scheduling, while the target date of Dec. 2 for the brand new Packer Arena is still in sight.

"At this point, we think we can make that schedule," Erichson said at the press conference. "At this point we're on schedule and on budget."

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Riverside Figure Skating Club Vice President Deb Bennefeld presented a check of $5,000 to project fundraiser Larry Lyons, who said the goal of $250,000 was well within range at its present total of $215,000.

"This is really exciting, we've had so many people willing to come together to make this thing happen," Lyons said.

Registration for Austin Youth Hockey opens Sept. 23 and 25 for bantams and peewees, according to Roberts, who appeared eager to hit the new sheet of ice in Austin.

"We're excited to have a lot more ice," he said. "Hopefully we have a lot more kids. We want as many skaters, boys and girls, as we can."

Austin Mayor Bonnie Rietz was also on hand to give a well-wishing.

"This is a wonderful addition to the community," she said.

Ross Thede can be reached at 434-2234 or by e-mail at