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Filling ‘huge need for hockey’: Northwood may be site of outdoor rink

Posted By: Toledo Blade on November 12, 2023.  For more information, please click here to read the source article.


Northwood City Council is exploring the idea of building a partially enclosed ice rink near its new community center and new housing subdivision.

Council approved applying for a $500,000 grant toward the $3.8 million project at its opening meeting of the month.

Councilman Louis Fahrbach, who is chairman of the finance committee, said that teams could practice at the facility and there would be public skating.

“Just ask how busy Tam-O-Shanter is, and the other facilities that are around here. There’s a definite need for that,” Mr. Fahrbach said.

Sylvania Tam-O-Shanter offers public skating, youth and adult hockey, skating lessons, and figure skating.

There is limited ice available in the area, Mr. Fahrbach said.

“There are people who travel from here, who go up to Michigan, go out to Indiana,” he said. “I think it would provide a pretty good practice area, and also an area where games could be played as well — a pretty cool concept.”

Thursday’s action was to apply to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources for a $500,000 grant through the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund.

“In April, we’ll see if we get it and what the path forward looks like,” Mr. Fahrbach said.

Rink rental and ice time would go toward paying for the project, he said.

“But that’s definitely a question that would be further explored in an April-May time period,” Mr. Fahrbach said.

The earliest the rink would be completed would be in 2025.

The rink would be near the Enclave, a mixed-use development on 120 acres formerly occupied by the Woodville Mall. Plans call for office space, smaller commercial buildings and retail, and housing for families and seniors. The location is also close to the new community center, which is opening this summer.

“We’re trying to get enough venues and houses there where they can become a good venue that can be enjoyable to hang out at,” Mr. Fahrbach said. “After you get done with the hockey game, hopefully you go over and have wings somewhere. We’re in talks with a couple different restaurants … just have a nice community area.”

Glenn Grisdale, principal of Bowling Green-based Reveille, a planning and economic development agency, gave a detailed presentation to the finance committee before the council meeting.

“There’s a huge need for hockey … a huge need, everyone knows about it,” Mr. Grisdale said Thursday.

The city could also pursue $500,000 to $1 million from the state capital budget to put toward the project, he said. Memberships and leagues will also help with the cost, Mr. Grisdale said.

The rink would be ice from mid-October to mid-April, he said. In the warmer months, it could be a roller rink and also used for lacrosse, soccer, and pickleball.

“This facility would be used year-round,” he said.

Councilman Mark Stoner said he thought the project should be put on hold for a year. There are many other projects to do in the city, including road repairs. Also, the community center is poised to open next summer, and they should see what the response is, he said.

The community center will feature a green space for outdoor gatherings, along with a splash pad and a 24,000-square-foot facility for recreation, fitness, wellness, and social opportunities.

“I’m not saying it’s not a worthwhile project,” Mr. Stoner said of the hockey rink. “Let’s wait to see if we’ve got some money coming in, so we can help fund it that way.”

He did agree to apply for the grant.

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