NORTH OLMSTED, Ohio — Closed since earlier this year for renovation, the North Olmsted Recreation Center’s $2.2 million ice rink renovation project is now complete with the popular Lorain Road venue reopening its doors to the public earlier this week.
“Anybody who knows ice is going to be absolutely thrilled and want to be here,” North Olmsted Parks and Recreation Commissioner Betsy Drenski said. “Hockey clubs and figure skaters can’t wait to be back. Our clubs are used to being in one spot even though we have people coming from a lot of directions.
“During construction, they were scattered going to rinks all over Cuyahoga County and beyond. They’re excited to be in one consistent place back again. They miss being here. Now they’re returning to the newest ice rink around with the best ice and glass boards, which are safe and clean.”
Returning to the brand-new facility will be high school hockey teams, as well as the North Olmsted Hockey Club and synchronized skating clubs.
The renovated ice rink includes 14 miles of piping, as well as a new accessible rink entrance, hockey box for sled hockey players and a glass system that’s higher and safer compared to the previous glass.
There are also new player boxes with access areas to the rink surface, usable programming space adjacent between rinks and a multi-use flexible space in the lobby. The latter can be used for non-skating programming options.
“Registration is now open for our learn-to-skate classes, which we delayed a week to start on Nov. 8,” Drenski said. “Obviously we’ll have COVID protocols in place. We’re looking forward to welcoming them back. I had a lot of emails from parents who are excited to be back.”
Due to the pandemic, the ice facility won’t be offering open skate times because of social-distancing concerns. The rec commissioner said she’s excited about all of the future possibilities for the newly renovated lobby.
“It’s less cluttered and has become a real flexible space so that we can offer different things, such as exercise programs and a real nice meeting space with a glass partition in the concession area,” Drenski said.
“After COVID, we’ll definitely have an awesome space for birthday parties.”
The renovation project also includes improvement of the roof and building envelope, HVAC and humidification systems and lighting. The one area the project didn’t expand was the locker rooms. That remains on Drenski’s wish list going forward.
“Other amenities we’d like to add eventually to the rec center would be basketball courts and possibly a new pool,” Drenski said.
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