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Tyrone Borough seeks help from community with inline hockey equipment donations

While working on your spring cleaning, did you happen to come across your son’s old roller blades? You know, those ones that don’t fit any longer.
If so, the borough of Tyrone sure could use them.
At Monday’s meeting of borough council, members voted 7-1 in favor of awarding a $140,000 bid to Krieger Construction of Duncansville to construct an inline hockey rink near the community pool. Now, borough officials are looking to the community to help with supplying equipment.
“We’re just asking that if anyone in the community has old roller blades, knee pads, helmets or hockey sticks, and they don’t have a use for them, to bring them down to my office,” said Tyrone Mayor Patricia S. Stoner. “Our new hockey rink is going to provide another recreational activity for the children in the area, but we understand that some of these youngsters can’t afford the equipment necessary for the game.”
According to Stoner, the borough hopes to stockpile such equipment, and have it readily available for the people who want to use it.
“We’ve had some donations already and we’re hoping more come rolling in here in the near future,” said Stoner, noting that cash donations are also welcome.
The project entails the construction of a slightly smaller than regulation sized rink. Plans call for a 165-foot long facility, measuring 65-feet wide. Stoner said the rink couldn’t be completed to regulation size in fear that a water pipe nestled in the same parcel of land would be disrupted or damaged.
“Up there now is a horrible looking site. It’s an eyesore,” said Stoner. “When this is finished, it will be landscaped and be a nice attractive entry to our wonderful park.”
The surface area of the rink will be constructed from asphalt and will be surrounded with batterboards harboring a fence to keep puck inside the play area. There will also be benches for the players and even penalty boxes. Just outside the playing area, an asphalt walkway will circle the facility, providing a perfect walking path for those who enjoy that type of exercise.
Stoner said that if the sport catches on, a possibility exists that bleachers would be installed for on-lookers.
There are no plans for lighting the court, and noted that it would close each evening at the same time Reservoir Park closes.
Stoner also said that anyone playing roller hockey inside the rink, will be required to wear the proper equipment, including knee and elbow pads and helmets. The borough also holds liability insurance for the facility.
“The reason we chose the site that we did was because we wanted the young children out where we could see them,” said Stoner. “We want it to be a safe place. We could have decided to build further up in the park, but if the kids aren’t in plain site, anything could happen.”
The construction will occur on the site that currently houses the sand volleyball court. Stoner said that recreational activity will be moved to the other end of Reservoir Park. She said that mostly, the older kids and adults use that facility.
The idea of the hockey rink has been brewing in council chambers for quite some time. Problems with a bid package caused the governing body to push the project back earlier this year, and following that incident, the bids came in much more over budget than expected. Finally, council agreed on a $140,000 bid by Krieger Construction, although this came in over bid as well.
Stoner said the $50,000 difference was transferred from the capital fund. Prior to the transfer, this account held $200,000, earmarked for improvements to the community pool.
“This is where we had to pull the money from,” said Stoner. “We needed to do this rather quickly or we would have lost the funding. The money in the capital fund was to be used for improvements to the pool, but the improvements needed there aren’t urgent.”
The project will begin as soon as Krieger Construction finds time in its busy schedule, according to Stoner. She hopes for the facility to be completed by the end of July.
“Sure, we would like it done as quickly as possible, but we also want it done professionally,” said Stoner. “If we have to wait an extra week for that, than so be it. It will be worth it.”
Stoner said she hopes the inline hockey program generates as much interest as the soccer program did when it began a couple of years ago.
“When we started the soccer program, there were 50 kids in the program,” said Stoner. “Now we have more than 200 kids playing soccer up there. I feel this sport (inline hockey) will be every bit as successful as soccer in this area.”
Stoner praised the residents of the community for making the soccer program so successful. She said these residents have volunteered the time to provide coaching for kids aged five through 14.
“We already have people interested in taking a lead on this project and wanting to help out with some coaching,” said Stoner, noting Tyrone Borough Police Chief Joe Beachem has mentioned his interest in helping out. Anyone interested in assisting with the program is encouraged to contact the borough at 684-1330.