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LOCKPORT – Demolition of the former supermarket that occupies the site of the city’s new $12.8 million twin-rink ice arena will begin in early October, those involved in the project said Tuesday.

“What’s holding us up is the asbestos removal,” said Corporation Counsel John J. Ottaviano, one of the principals in the private Lockport Ice Arena and Sports Center.

Architect James Bammel of Orchard Park said demolition will last two weeks, and once the site is cleared, it will take about a year to build the 81,000-square-foot, split-level complex at Chestnut and Market streets.

Ottaviano said the organization is still targeting an opening in time for the start of the 2014-15 youth hockey season.

“We haven’t ruled that out, but we’re a month behind,” Ottaviano said.

Despite the involvement of prominent city leaders, the project is being constructed by a private, not-for-profit entity.

The city Planning Board gave approval to the site plan in a meeting Tuesday.

Engineer Kristin Savard of Lewiston’s Advanced Design Group showed the board a revised drawing that featured an atrium-like main entrance on the Chestnut Street side. Bammel said there will be entrances on the upper and lower levels of the hillside project, with a driveway off Market Street as well as a parking lot off Chestnut.

Ottaviano said Mulvey Construction of Lockport is performing the asbestos abatement and will handle the demolition. Ottaviano said construction is budgeted at $10.8 million, with the other $2 million covering “soft costs,” such as architectural and engineering work.

The organization has about $4 million in hand, most of it from a grant by the Grigg-Lewis Foundation announced in September 2012. The state Dormitory Authority also gave the project $400,000, arranged by State Sen. George D. Maziarz, R-Newfane.

Ottaviano said naming rights will be sold, but Henrietta G. Lewis, the late founder of the Grigg-Lewis Foundation, will be part of the arena’s name.

email: tprohaska@buffnews.com