Petersburg Pilot -

 
 

Hockey will continue at the community gym

 

Shelly Pope

Chips and scratches in the gym floor of the Petersburg Community Center and damage to the oak trim around the walls above the basketball goals are prompting requests for an increase in budget for maintenance of the facility.

Chip marks and excessive wear and tear to the gym floor of the Petersburg Community Center are main subjects of discussion by the Petersburg Parks and Recreation Department.

The concerns regarding the conditions of the floor brought the Petersburg Hockey Club members to the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board meeting Monday, June 25 to address the possibility of losing its program.

“This facility was built in the 1990s,” Parks and Recreation Director Donn Hayes said. “About 10 years ago is when hockey began being played on this floor.”

P & R Advisory board member Rick Braun asked if the facility could be re-designed to accommodate all of the activities for the community.

“We have responded to every concern that has been brought to our attention about the damage to the community gym,” Petersburg Hockey Club member Greg Kowalski said. “We have a strong program, rich in history and membership and recreational benefits. We are responsible users of this facility.”

Hayes explained that in 2007 chips and scratches to the floor were noticeable, as well as marks by the pucks could be seen in the walls.

“The local hockey club took it upon themselves to replace the oak trim around the base,” Hayes said. “They also added large pieces of black plastic to the walls behind the basketball goals.”

These added features have protected the facility to a certain extent, but more maintenance or upgrading is needed.

“This facility is the heart and soul of the Community Center,” Hayes stated. “We want it to be a multi-use facility.”

Possible speculation of resurfacing the gym floor and then banning the hockey club from using the facility prompted great debate.

“It would be a big mistake to eliminate hockey in this community,” Braun said. “It seems a multi-functional floor would be much cheaper in the long run.”

Hayes will take a proposal to the Petersburg City Council with hopes of procuring funds to better maintain the facility or to replace the flooring.

The hopes of the Parks and Recreation Department are to sand the floor down to bare wood, repaint the stripes and add at least two coats of urethane to the floor to protect it as long as possible.

“The process of sanding and revarnishing this floor will cost $25,000,” Hayes said. “But to replace the floor with a more multi-functioning floor will cost $400,000.”

Hayes explained that the facility was not built for hockey, but to continue having the ability to play hockey in the facility, it will need to be retrofitted to fit the needs of the community.

“Our hopes are to maintain the current floor until we have an opportunity to find a grant that will allow us to replace it,” Hayes said. “At this time, we refinish the floor yearly, but to keep up with the current use of the facility we need to do this at least twice a year.”

Hayes hopes to increase the department budget enough to maintain the current floor until other options can be explored.

“The community gym should be viewed as a melting pot,” hockey club member Joe Boggs said. “This is a place where the community can explore opportunities rain or shine, be it basketball, volleyball and even

hockey.”

 

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