| News

Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Belmont Complex plans ribbon-cutting to show off $2M in renovations

Louis B. Ruediger | Leader Times
Gary Montebell points out some of the major improvments at the Belmont Ice Complex in East Franklin. Thursday December 5, 2013

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

Event details

The Belmont Complex, 415 Butler Road, East Franklin, plans to kick off its grand reopening events on Dec. 17, at 10 a.m., with a ribbon cutting ceremony featuring state Sen. Don White, R-Indiana.

The celebration continues on Dec. 21, from 3 to 9:30 p.m., with hockey games, a Belmont Blaze performance, a Salvation Army food drive, children's activities, a public skate and more.

For information, visit, or call 724-548-1067.

'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

Monday, Dec. 9, 2013, 12:09 p.m.

A series of grant-funded renovations made a 46-year-old recreation facility in East Franklin seem new.

The third phase of renovations in the Belmont Complex wrapped up last month, and officials for the recreation facility plan to celebrate on Dec. 17 and 21.

Officials plan to host a ribbon-cutting ceremony with state Sen. Don White, R-Indiana, on Dec. 17, followed by an afternoon of skating and activities, beginning at 3 p.m. Dec. 21, according to director Gary Montebell.

“It came together very nicely,” Montebell said. “Everybody was very patient, and I'm thankful everyone understood in the long run, this is better for everyone.”

Crews began working on the $2 million renovation in April. It included the construction of a new entrance and foyer, ticket booth, skate shop, concessions stand, a large handicapped-accessible ramp, two updated locker rooms, restrooms, a conference room overlooking the rink and stairways to the balcony overlooking the ice.

It opened up the foyer, near the ticket counter, to allow people to flow more freely in and out of the rink, Montebell said.

Belmont Complex officials paid for the updates with a $1.2 million grant from the Pennsylvania Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program, a $76,800 grant from the Department of Housing and Urban Development's Economic Development Initiative and $1 million in grants from Armstrong County, funded by its bond proceeds.

Montebell said the renovations were necessary to bring the facility into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. The building was constructed in 1967, and its last renovation was in 1989, he added.

“The key to all of this was bringing everything up to code,” Montebell said.

The current round of grant-funded renovations is the third, with previous work including lighting and dasher boards around the rink and a dehumidifier system.

“We've brought up the environment in the rink to where it needs to be,” Montebell said.

He hopes this round of renovations does not mark the final improvements to the Belmont Complex. He hopes to secure more grants to continue updating the facility and implement a naming rights and advertising plan.

Officials plan to sell the naming rights for the entire facility, which comes with a price tag of $200,000 for a five-year contract. It includes opportunities to purchase the naming rights for the banquet room, which is $10,000, and locker rooms and warming room, for $1,000 each.

The complex offers several advertising options ranging from $250 to $800, Montebell said.

Officials would like to install another changing room, a multipurpose room and four new locker rooms, Montebell said.

Brad Pedersen is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-543-1303, ext. 1337, or

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.




Show commenting policy

Most-Read Armstrong

  1. Natural soaps, spinning demo among attractions at Fort Armstrong Folk Festival
  2. West Kittanning church marks 100 years of ups and downs
  3. Police: Escaped Armstrong County inmate armed, dangerous homicide suspect
  4. Kittanning road work a dusty backdrop to sidewalk sales, festival
  5. Armstrong reaches out for opinions about how to use closed schools
  6. Worker injured when excavator backs over him in Kittanning
  7. Rural Valley judge hanging up robes after 34 years on the bench
  8. Kittanning 5K raising money for Habitat for Humanity
  9. 44th Folk Festival off to bustling start in Kittanning
  10. Manor family parting with WWII memorabilia at estate sale
  11. Ownerless emu finds ‘buddy’ at new Greensburg home