Executives of Ice Rink Contractor for Target Center Previously Involved in $1.5M Lawsuit



While trying to educate my brain for a story on Logan Morrison’s first HR as a Twin, this caught my attention:

The (above) referenced Star Tribune article lets us in on the concerning situation surrounding the Target Center’s ice rink and how over-budget they are with the company they gave the contract to.

As most of us know, the Lynx and Wolves’ home venue has undergone, and is still undergoing, massive renovations. Included in said renovations is replacing the arena’s ice rink. The original estimated cost to do so was $2.8 million. Ice Builders Inc., provided a $2.5 million proposal for the entire project. Once it was all said and done, the sole-bidder was awarded the seven-figure task.

Recently, Ice Builders added some coin to that original $2.5 million project price tag:

If math isn’t your strong suit, I’ve got you. The total cost of the two referenced change orders is $1,111,846.

Apparently, the reason behind that additional costs is related to “fixing flaws in the project’s design related to the rink’s cooling system.” In an attempt to avoid delaying upcoming booked events, the city of Minneapolis promptly approved the costly changes. In regards to covering the additional costs, “the city [taxpayer] is picking up the tab for now.”

However, City Council Member, Steve Fletcher, seems to think that will change:

As for Ice Builder, a spokesman for the company “did not respond to a request for comment” from the Star Tribune. Interesting, huh?

You have no idea…

This whole scenario, to say the least, didn’t bode well with me pissed me off. Initially, I expressed myself by letting out the longest Twitter rant of my career. Even Twitter’s expanded character count couldn’t hold it all:

Using my anger as motivation, I started researching the company behind the renovations. Ice Builders is the name and building ice rinks is apparently their game (website: www.icebuilders.com). You can review their “references for current projects completed since 2000.” Hopefully, you aren’t looking to stay too current being there isn’t a reference listed since 2011. If that extremely outdated link doesn’t provide enough information, you can do the following:

While Ice Builders’ contact section lists Ron McHargue with a Sales and Marketing title, according to Manta, ZoomInfo, and Buzzfile, he is actually the company’s President. That’s an odd thing to do. Why would you want to make yourself seem less important?

So, let’s assume those three reputable company/career information websites are correct on Mr. McHargue’s title, as President of Ice Builders.

What if this isn’t the first time a Ron McHargue-run ice rink building business ran into questions about their rink building? Big questions.

What if a previous Ron McHargue-affiliated company was sued for $1.5 million regarding an ice rink that they built?

Well, according to a 1995 article (HERE) from the Baltimore Sun, a company by the name of “C.W. Davis Supply (IcePro Ltd.)” was sued for $1.5 million for issues surrounding their involvement in building an ice rink at Quiet Waters Park in Annapolis Maryland. The President of that company was Ronald McHargue.

While the switch from “Ronald” to “Ron” was sneaky, it wasn’t sneaky enough:

I wanted to be transparent (*cough* unlike some humans *cough*) and give Ron and Greg Gebhardt a chance to defend themselves, given my findings. So, I gave them a call. It was the right Minnesota Nice thing to do.

Although I was unable to reach Greg, I did connect with Ron. After telling him who I was, informing him of my findings, he declined to issue a comment.

Question: If the city would have known about McHargue and Gebhardt’s previous troubles, do you think Ice Builders still would have gotten the Target Center job?

Answer: I don’t think so.

In conclusion, there are additional questions (such as: how did that 1995 lawsuit end? If “the city is picking up the tab for now,” does that mean Ice Builders has received all $3.6 million? If so, why would we pay them before completion of the job?) These are all questions I’d have for the City of Minneapolis.

As always, stay woke, Minnesota.

Johnny Minnesota (@TheJohnnyMN)

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