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Pepsi Center Rink Gets Second Chance In RiNo

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Bowling lanes can be recycled and used for furniture. (credit: CBS)

Bowling lanes can be recycled and used for furniture. (credit: CBS)

Dozens of discarded glass panels from the Pepsi Center ice rink are being converted into clear partition walls for an environmentally friendly renovation project in Denver’s River North Neighborhood.

“It’s a labor of love and it’s what we’re committed to,” explained Kyle Zeppelin, the man behind the new 30,000 square foot Freight building.

It’s called Freight because it used to be a freight terminal back in the 1960s.

Zeppelin Development is all about finding unique ways to recycle.

In one of their warehouses sits a stack of salvaged hardwood flooring from an old bowling alley that was demolished on North Federal Boulevard.

“Sometimes this stuff can go and sit in a landfill,” said Sam Fletcher, one of the Zeppelin Contractors.

But not anymore.

Fletcher fires up a sander and begins the tedious process of transforming the solid maple into office furniture.

“It takes a lot of work,” he said, “it’s got paint on it, it’s got drywall on it, all sorts of stuff,”

Before this bench is done, he’ll apply 5 coats of lacquer.

A nice example of the finished work can be found in the nearby Fuel Café in the 3400 block of Ringsby Court.

Jacob Uhl, another contractor, says the tempered hockey glass and the bowling alley flooring were obtained at a small fraction of the cost of the same material new.

Juhl helps other workmen heft one of the 250 pound panels onto a dolly and push it down a hallway into an unfinished office space.

“We’re finding a new home for it,” he said.

Once in place, with others just like it, the clear partition will make a great story to be told at future staff meetings says Uhl.

Has he considered the possibility the glass panels could get banged — like at the Pepsi Center — if a meeting were to get out of control?

“That’s exactly why we purchased them,” he said with a laugh.

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