In the News

Bandshell group to move hockey rink

by Bernie Hornick for the Tribune Democrat
May 8, 2012

JOHNSTOWN — You might say the Roxbury Bandshell Preservation Alliance has graduated from protecting the soundstage to also safeguarding the summertime concerts held there.

Pucks from the nearby roller hockey games have flown out of the rink and whizzed by concertgoers sitting on the grass at those shows.

“We’ve already had stray pucks hit people,” Tim Burns, attorney for the bandshell group, said Tuesday.

“At one concert, a child in attendance for the concert was hit by the puck but, fortunately, sustained just minor injuries.”

So the alliance is entering into a contract with the city to erect a new hockey rink on the far hillside overlooking the bandstand. The relocation – which will necessitate demolishing the current site – will be paid for entirely with private funds. The city will retain control of the rink.

Burns said the $250,000 project will be paid for through private funding and donated materials and labor.

The work will include leveling some of the hill.

Burns said he and the city have been working on a contract and is confident it’s a done deal.

The city’s solicitor, Dave Andrews, said the pact will ensure that financial responsibility and liability for the move will be put upon the bandshell group.

He will recommend that council approve the deal which, he said, will result in a much-improved rink.

“This isn’t going to start, like, tomorrow,” Burns said.

“Like the bandshell, we’ll need funds.”

He thinks the rink will be built in the next year or two.

“It’s a win/win,” Burns said.

“More room for concerts, plus a new rink.”

Burns, bandshell alliance President Mary Borkow, and architect Edwin Pawlowski twice have discussed the matter before City Council.

The outdoor rink – built to National Hockey League specifications – gets lots of roller-game use.

Public ice skating was tried in 2008 but, between challenges offered by the weather and an uneven surface, has gone by the boards.

Incidentally, Burns said, the preservation group already has spent $300,000 on the bandshell.