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Woes Persist at 2002 Olympic Venue

September 12, 2000

PROVO, Utah (AP) _ Another test of the refrigeration unit at the 2002 Winter Olympics site for men’s and women’s hockey ended the way the previous one did: Rink officials say there is a leak and the rink’s builder say there isn’t.

The first test, an 11-day trial a month ago, was to have been the final test on the chiller at The Peaks. It was supposed to end squabbling among arena manager Max Rabner, builders and suppliers, but its validity was challenged.

The system _ which chills the two ice sheets at the Peaks _ was tested again on Friday and Peaks officials said a leak was detected. The contractor, Hogan & Associates, said the chilling system worked correctly.

Rabner said the chiller has been troubled since it was installed because there is an internal leak in the system that prevents him from keeping the two ice sheets at separate temperatures. Events such as speed skating and figure skating require different ice temperatures.

Hogan officials said there is only an exchange of fluid in the system, not a leak. This exchange does not impair the Peaks ability to chill ice, they say.

Rick Henrie, a consultant for the Provo/Utah County Ice Sheet Authority, said Friday’s test concerned him because he thinks the leak could get worse and eventually destroy the chiller.

Replacing the chiller could cost $170,000, a bill Hogan could have to pay. Rabner has withheld a final payment of $84,091 until the chiller functions as he wants it to.

``We’ve withheld payment because we don’t have an operating system,″ Rabner said. ``Without this refrigeration system, this facility is nothing but a huge warehouse.″

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