Jamestown Center City Development Corporation

Youth Day at the Jamestown Farmer's Market


The Jamestown Ice Arena Project
“The Ultimate Gift”

The Jamestown Savings Bank Ice Arena represents a determined and proactive effort at community revitalization. During the planning and early development stages, many considered the project impossible. Yet, along with ancillary development, it now serves as extraordinary example of the possibilities of strategic philanthropy.


In December of 1998, the Board of Directors of the Gebbie Foundation reviewed a proposal from the City of Jamestown requesting funding for a new community ice skating facility. As a result of the proposal, the Foundation commissioned for a feasibility study and secondly for a study to determine the best location for the facility. The first study concluded that the ice arena would be feasible if not required to generate enough income to cover debt service. The second determined the best site to be the West End of Jamestown, given the Foundation’s goal of using the arena investment as a stimulus for generating further economic development in the deteriorating downtown.


The Gebbie Board determined that the Foundation would need to take an active, lead role in the project if it was to be funded in order to ensure the success of the investment. In February of 2000, Gebbie formed Jamestown Center City Development Corporation (JCCDC) as a 501(c)3 non-profit organization to serve as a mechanism for financing and developing the arena. JCCDC entered into a bond purchasing agreement for 15 million dollars in civic facility revenue bonds through the County of Chautauqua Industrial Development Agency (CCIDA), with the Foundation serving as guarantor of the bonds. The other area foundations agreed to support the project by contributing toward debt service on the bonds. An additional 6 million dollar bond was obtained in December 2001.

Once the building’s footprint was finalized, a private consulting firm was brought in to privately negotiate the acquisition and the relocation of existing businesses. Gebbie/JCCDC’s preference was to acquire the properties without using eminent domain procedures. JCCDC purchased all of the privately owned properties located under the arena footprint. The CCIDA purchased two businesses outside of the footprint in order to make way for the new Lafayette Street .

JCCDC worked with the relocated business owners to ensure their comfort and success at the new sites. In all, eleven businesses were successfully relocated without recourse to eminent domain proceedings and within the city to preserve the tax base. The time-span of the entire relocation process was seven months. This included enlisting contractors for the design and readiness of each relocation site. In almost all cases, the businesses were significantly enhanced.

Geophysical and environmental complications were discovered during exploratory drilling operations prior to construction. The design of the building footing remained provisional for some time and dependent upon ongoing soil investigations. Soil borings eventually determined the need for larger than anticipated spread footing to support the structure.

Construction started in May of 2001. Toward the end of May, the project’s environmental consultant determined that an impermeable barrier would need to be placed under the entire building to keep potential fugitive emissions from migrating upward due to possible remaining petroleum contamination underground. The decision regarding what material to use as a seal took approximately six weeks. Finally, a product called “Liquid Boot” was selected. Structural engineers then had to recalculate frictional slip planes to ensure the stability of the footing on a rubberized fabric. Because heavy cranes needed to move around the site during steel erection, the boot was delivered, poured, and fused in several installments. Additional environmental remediation on the site involved the drilling and completion of monitoring, vapor extraction, and injection wells.

Further environmental complications were uncovered during the relocation of a street under the footprint; asbestos contamination was discovered in abandoned utility conduits. Because the agency responsible for the conduits was unable to absorb the expenses for the abatement, JCCDC contracted for the remediation. JCCDC also contracted to have specialists relocate high voltage utility lines that crossed through the construction site.


According to those involved in making the arena a reality, the project was so successful because the team concept remained consistent and the decision making process remained a team effort. Project Team members consider this project as one of the most complex, unique and rewarding in which they have participated. They credit the unusual blend of private sector/community benefactor development for making the project possible.

The collaborative relationship between JCCDC and the Board of Public Utilities on this project is noteworthy. JCCDC agreed to increase building costs to accommodate the BPU’s chiller plant that is now housed in the arena. The arrangement was intended to benefit future development in the vicinity by making it possible to provide district cooling to other sites.


Despite the tremendous challenges faced throughout the pre-construction and construction period, the Project Team, which included the project managers, the architect, the environmental consultants, and the engineers, worked together to overcome obstacles and deliver the project in fifteen months from the time construction activity began on the site. The building was ready to accommodate the regional Skate Chautauqua event three months earlier than what was projected to be consistent with the scope of the undertaking--and the projections did not account for complexities such as those dealt with on this site.



Project Team and Key Participants


Gebbie Foundation/JCCDC

Board of Directors:
Charles T. Hall, President
George A. Campbell
Martin A. Coyle
Rhoe B. Henderson III
Daniel E. Kathman
Dr. Lillian V. Ney
Bertram B. Parker
Rebecca I. Robbins
Paul W. Sandburg
Linda V. Swanson

Executive Director:
Dr. Thomas M. Cardman

Paradigm Consulting

Michael E. Bogucki, President
26 Radcliffe Drive
Buffalo, NY 14068

Management Services

Donald Bloomquist
Steven Adye
Robert Egmond
Michael Bradshaw
P.O. Box 3311
411 Windsor Street
Jamestown, NY 14702

Jackson Ryder Architects Inc.

Tony Jackson, President
Larry May, Director
114 Lakeshore Road East
Oakville, Ontario L6J6N2


Hutton Associates

Ernest Hutton, Principal
15 West 36th Street, 13th Floor
New York, NY 10018


County of Cattaraugus
Industrial Development Agency

Norman P. Leyh, Executive Director
P.O. Box 1749
3 East Washington Street
Ellicotville, NY 14731


Dynamic Design Engineering, Inc.

Louis A. Guzzi, President
600 Babcock Blvd., Suite 200
Pittsburgh, PA 15237


Habiterra Design Group

Robert A. Arnone, Architect
1279 North Main Street
Jamestown, NY 14701

County of Chautauqua
Industrial Development Agency

Richard Alexander, Executive Director
Richard Swist
200 Harrison Street
Jamestown, NY 14701

Development & Environmental
Consultants, Inc.

Michael W. Pufpaff

111 West 2nd Street
Jamestown, NY 14701

George K. Baum & Co.

Joseph C. Bosch,
Senior VP--Public Finance
Suite 400
26 Broadway
New York, NY 10004


(General Contractor)
Louis P. Ciminelli
Construction Co, Inc.
The Cyclorama Building
369 Franklin Street
Buffalo, NY 14202-1790

Sidley Precast

P.O. Box 70
Thompson, OH 44086

Schindler Elevator Corporation

P.O. Box 70433
Chicago, IL 60673

RTM Electrical, Inc.

1850 Lyndon Blvd.
Falconer, NY 14733

Hope Furrer Associates, Inc.

Hope H. Furrer
17 West Pennsylvania Ave.
Towson, MD 21204

Strategic Consulting
Redevelopment Specialists

Ronald W. Repak
Deborah M. Walter
173 Gerry Lane
Johnstown, PA 15904

Hope's Windows
Dawson Doors

Jamestown, NY

Erie Steel Products Co.

Gary W. Renaud, CEO
2420 West 15th Street
Erie, PA 16505

Joseph Davis, Inc.

General Mechanical Contractors
120 West Tupper Street
Buffalo, NY 14201

Irwin Seating Company, Inc.

Dept. 78033
P.O. Box 78000
Detroit, MI 48278

Jamestown Board
of Public Utilities

Walter W. Haase, General Manager
P.O. Box 700
92 Steele Street
Jamestown, NY 14702

City of Jamestown

Samuel Teresi, Mayor
Steven Centi, Director of Development
Lawrence Scalise, Dept. of Development
Jeffrey Leyman, Director of Department of Public Works
Municipal Building
East 3rd Street
Jamestown, NY 14701