Lace up those skates; Pittsburgh, Allegheny County ice rinks to open soon
A sure sign that the cold weather is here to stay, Allegheny County announced it will open the ice rink at North Park on Thursday.
The cost of day passes and season passes for the 2017-2018 season remained the same as the 2016-2017 season for both county residents and non-residents.
The rink is open Tuesday through Sunday, weather permitting and will stay open into march if the weather allows.
The ice rink at South Park will open later in the season once a $3.3 million renovation is complete. The upgrades are funded with $948,837 from the Allegheny Regional Asset District, $500,000 from the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, $100,000 from the Penguins Foundation and the remainder from funds in the county's capital budget.
The county demolished the olympic-size rink at South Park and is building an NHL-sized rink, a 2,300-square-foot junior rink and a 226-foot skating trail. The three venues will allow the county to host hockey games, give skating lessons on the junior rink and open the skating trail to open skates all at the same time, said Kevin Evanto, spokesman for the county Parks Department.
The county is also replacing the equipment at the South Park rink, which dated back to 1961 when the rink opened. In past years, the chilling system at the rink has failed, leading to slushy and watery conditions. The county has had to close the rink several times because of the poor ice.
"The chilling equipment could no longer hold the ice in mild weather conditions," Evanto said.
The renovated rinks will include native plant and tree species and thrive in the winter, giving the skate trail the feel of gliding along a riverbank, Evanto said. The county hopes the new rinks are ready to open early next year.
Pittsburgh's Parks Department is hoping to open its rink in Schenley Park on Nov. 18, weather permitting. The rink Downtown at PPG Plaza opens on Light Up Night, which is Nov. 17.
Aaron Aupperlee is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org, 412-336-8448 or via Twitter @tinynotebook.