Lights, New Scoreboard Will Shine on Hurricane-Damaged Roller Rink

By Katie Honan on January 24, 2014 2:38pm 

 A rendering of the new roller hockey rink in Rockaway Beach.
A rendering of the new roller hockey rink in Rockaway Beach.
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Courtesy Parks Department

ROCKAWAY BEACH — The city has unveiled plans to help get Rockaway rolling again with the reconstruction of its hockey rink.

The rink on Beach 108th Street, next to the former boardwalk, was wrecked during Hurricane Sandy and has been awaiting a fix ever since.

The reconstructed rink will include new asphalt, new boards and fencing chosen with the area's local roller hockey league, the Rockaway Rockies, according to Councilman Eric Ulrich.

The area surrounding the rink will also be rebuilt with benches and drinking fountains, which were in place before the 2012 storm.

The rink, which is being funded partially by $600,000 secured by Ulrich, will also include electrical conduits, lighting and a new scoreboard for the first time.

The total cost for the project is not clear.

Construction is set to begin on the facility in the fall of 2014 — which is also when the Parks Department plans to begin construction on "Phase 3" of the boardwalk repair project, which includes the portion adjacent to the rink. It's not clear when the construction on the rink will be complete.

An email to the Parks Department about construction logistics, and whether they anticipate any conflicts, was not immediately returned.

Ulrich said he's looking forward to "dropping the first puck" in the new facility.

"This will be a state-of-the-art recreational space and is just the latest investment in our commitment to rebuilding a stronger, more resilient Rockaway," he said.

Primarily used by various hockey teams, the rink was a fixture in the community, hosting group exercise classes and other outdoor events.

A board member of the Rockaway Rockies said the organization is happy to see their ideas taken into consideration by the Parks Department in their final design.

“The new rink will allow us to expand our program and host evening tournaments," said Bobby Keane, a board member with the Rockaway Rockies Hockey League.

"We are anxious to get back on the rink!”

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