‘Mac’ turf project to be finished by mid-July


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The Harry McDonald Center is in the final stages of upgrades that will add an indoor turf field to the facility, which was first built in 1984. Seen above are the old building, at left, and the new 27,000-square foot addition, right.

MATT TUNSETH

Construction at the McDonald Center is entering its final phase.

The $6 million project to add an indoor turf field, running track and maintenance shop to the longtime Eagle River recreational facility should be completed by July 17, said Mac manager Reid McDonald on May 12.

“It’s basically done,” he said. “They just need to do the final touches.”

Palmer-based F-E Contracting Inc. is currently installing drywall and painting, McDonald said. Once the toilets and netting are installed, the final step will be to put down the turf and track, he said.

The Mac’s exterior is also getting a makeover.

Curbs will be installed around light poles, McDonald said, and new asphalt will be put down on Harry McDonald Road to the Old Glenn Highway.

The expansion will add 27,000 square feet to the existing 38,000-sqaure-foot, 700-seat venue. Built in 1984, the existing facility houses an Olympic-sized sheet of ice, community meeting room and track around the rink’s perimeter.

McDonald said he’s excited the project is nearing its end, and he’s been busy contacting potential user groups for the turf.

“It looks like there will be a fairly good demand for it,” he said. “I’m hopeful it will be used as heavily as the rink.”

Undergoing construction during the hockey season was no easy task, McDonald said.

“It’s been a challenge doing it while we’re still open,” he said.

McDonald said he anticipates having the turf open by Sept. 1.

“It’s something we’ve needed for a long time,” he said. “It’s gonna be great.”

 

Contact Mike Nesper at 694-2727 or mike.nesper@alaskastar.com

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