Cranberry's Graham Park to get new dek hockey rink
The time-honored practice of moving old, worn out hockey nets off local roads to allow for for passing cars might not end, but young players in Cranberry will soon have an opportunity to also play in a new, state-of-the-art dek hockey rink as early as this fall.
Graham Park will get the new attraction as the Pittsburgh Penguins Foundation, Highmark and Cranberry Township have announced a rink will be constructed there this year.
The rink is part of a $2.3 million project, called Project Power Play, $1.5 million of which is funded by Highmark and the other $800,000 by the Penguins Foundation.
Pete Geis, Cranberry's parks and recreation director, said the township's only cost will be laying the asphalt for the rink to be built over.
The 155-foot-by-75 foot rink will be the first one to be built outside of Allegheny County by the Penguins Foundation and Highmark.
According to Geis, construction will begin within a few weeks and should be available for the community to use by October. He hopes that the rink will host 300 players in its first year.
Dave Soltesz, the president of the Penguins Foundation, said other rinks built through the project, like the ones in Oakmont, Banksfield and Brookline, have had similar success to Geis' goal.
“Each rink built has been successful,” Soltesz said. “It's about getting out there and playing and enjoying yourself.”
The dek hockey rink facilitated by the project in Richland Community Park, the one closest to the location of Cranberry's eventual rink, is hosting more than 100 youth players during their first full summer season.
“It's been a great way for parents to see how interested their kids are in the sport before making the much, much greater financial commitment to ice hockey,” said Bob Black, who coordinates the Richland rink programs. “This is a terrific way to see that commitment level and a good way for them to develop skills like stick handling, passing and shooting without taking on the toughest skill, which is skating. It's a great way of breaking your kids into hockey.”
Soltesz said the Penguins Foundation and Highmark choose communities to build in where they believe there is a great potential for the rinks to be fully used.
“When we look at these we want to see a need within a community and that there is a plan for its use,” Soltesz said. “The folks in Cranberry have a solid understanding of youth sports, and we saw a community that needs and will embrace another dek hockey rink in its area.”
While Geis said plans for the multi-sport rink's use are not set yet, he said that initially it will only be used for dek hockey. Outside of scheduled programs, plans are being prepared for how it can be temporarily rented out and also be open to the public.
The rink will include features like a dasher board system, scoreboard, player benches covered by metal shelters and dek hockey equipment.
Shawn Annarelli is a freelance writer for Trib Total Media.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Cranberry upgrades online aerial map, adds features
- Former Secret Service agent from Cranberry getting praise for novel
- Dead ready to walk again in New Sewickley at Zombies of the Corn