An architectural rendering of the MidAmerican Energy Company RecPlex in West Des Moines. Special to the Business Record

Minnesota-based Rink-Tec International Inc. will build the ice rinks for the MidAmerican Energy Company RecPlex under construction in West Des Moines, the City Council decided today.

The company was one of two that submitted bids for the project, under construction on 60 acres between Grand Avenue and Raccoon River Drive and east of South Jordan Creek Parkway. 

The cost of constructing the two ice rinks was estimated at $2.45 million. Rink-Tec’s bid was $2.2 million, $472,767 more than Minnesota Ice LLC’s bid of $1.7 million.

The council’s decision to award the bid to Rink-Tec came after a prolonged discussion on whether Minnesota Ice submitted a qualified bid. 

A review by city officials, the city’s attorney and the project’s architect showed the company was a “nonresponsive” bidder, the council was told.

Minnesota Ice did not demonstrate it had the technical experience to construction two National League Hockey League-sized ice rinks, according to city documents. In addition, Minnesota Ice did not show that it would do the work itself and had indicated subcontractors would do some work. Also, it did not meet the requirement that refrigeration equipment would be built on-site.
A representative from Minnesota Ice argued that city should rebid the project because the bid requirements were too strict and unclear.

The council rejected the argument.

“We need to get moving to get this project done,” West Des Moines Mayor Steve Gaer said. “The other bidder was compliant, and they went under the same review process as [Minnesota Ice] did.” 

The council unanimously voted to award the bid to Rink-Tec. Work on the two ice rinks is expected to be completed by July 15, according to city documents.

The $42 million project will include two ice hockey rinks, a 90,000-square-foot indoor turf field, four indoor basketball courts with the availability of eight volleyball courts, locker rooms and meeting space with seating for up to 2,100 people. Also planned are three outdoor soccer fields with space for two additional future fields. 

The project is being paid for with money from the private and public sectors. MidAmerican Energy Co. committed $5 million to the facility; Hy-Vee contributed $2 million. West Des Moines will use revenue from the hotel-motel tax and other sources to pay off debt from the project.

West Des Moines will own and operate the facility, which is expected to be completed late next fall. 

The complex – particularly the ice rinks – is much needed in Central Iowa, Gaer said after the meeting. 

“There really are not facilities right now for youth hockey, that’s why it’s important to keep this project moving forward. “These two ice rinks are the heart and soul of this first phase.”