Contractor to pay for inspection of cracks in arena’s ice floor

By Jerry Lynott - [email protected]
The Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza in Wilkes-Barre Township. Sean McKeag file photo | Times Leader -

WILKES-BARRE TWP. — Cracks in the year-old ice floor at the Mohegan Sun Arena will get a closer look to determine if sections of the concrete should be replaced.

Hairline cracks appeared in front of the team benches and in the ice dam that surrounds the floor and supports the dasher boards, Luzerne County Convention Center Authority Donna Cupinski said.

Cupinski, chairwoman of the Capital Improvements & Strategic Planning Committee, notified the authority Wednesday at its regular public meeting at the arena.

The floor, replaced last year, was used by the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins hockey team during its 2017-18 season. Total Mechanical Services Inc. of St. Paul, Minn., was awarded the project with a low bid of $869,000.

Cupinski said the company will pay for local contractor Panzitta Enterprises Inc., of Wilkes-Barre, to hammer chisel cuts in the floor to determine if air pockets formed during the pour and caused the cracks. She said she will keep board members informed of the inspection results.

The board also will be updated on what can be done to make the concrete less slick on the two pedestrian bridges into the arena that opened in 1999.

Cupinski said the committee met with Tom Lawson, of Borton-Lawson engineering. “He turned us onto a coating material,” she said.

Arena staff will apply the material to an “inconspicuous” area at first to see how it looks before applying it to a high-traffic area, Cupinski explained. If it’s suitable, she said a contractor will be hired to coat the bridges’ surfaces.

WiFi upgrade

The authority met the deadline to apply for an Appalachian Regional Commission grant ranging from $50,000 to $150,000 to upgrade the arena’s WiFi. The authority is working with the NEPA Alliance in Pittston Township on the funding and waiting to hear where it ranks among the other grants submitted.

The authority is seeking additional funds through the Local Share Account program from gambling revenues from the Mohegan Sun Pocono casino in neighboring Plains Township.

Cupinski said the WiFi is not being upgraded solely for people attending events to get onto Facebook. Shows and events have passed on the arena because of the poor WiFi service, she said.

Authority Chairman Ed Harry added that the Penguins hockey team inquired about a WiFi upgrade two to three years ago.

“That was the motivating entity to get us to look into it,” said Harry.

Among other things, it would help with getting score updates from the American Hockey League for broadcast during intermissions between periods.

In other business:

• Harry said negotiations continue for contracts with the Penguins, naming rights for the arena and with SMG for management of the facility.

• Newly appointed authority member Joseph Cotter will not be taking a seat on the 11-member body to avoid a conflict of interest. Cotter, an attorney, is joining the law firm of Rosenn Jenkins & Greenwald LLP, the same firm of authority solicitor Joseph Persico.

Luzerne County Council will now have to appoint another person for the spot that opened with the resignation of David Capin in April.

The Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza in Wilkes-Barre Township. Sean McKeag file photo | Times Leader Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza in Wilkes-Barre Township. Sean McKeag file photo | Times Leader

By Jerry Lynott

[email protected]

Reach Jerry Lynott at 570-991-6120 or on Twitter @TLJerryLynott.

Reach Jerry Lynott at 570-991-6120 or on Twitter @TLJerryLynott.