TROY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — There’s a big effort underway to renovate a well-loved, but aging ice rink. Many Capital Region residents know it as the Frear Park Ice Rink in Troy.
But hockey fans lovingly call it, “Freezer Park”.
Scott Basiuk is on the board of directors of the Troy Albany Hockey Association and he also coaches youth hockey at the rink. He says being on the ice was a lifeline for hundreds of kids during the pandemic.
“For an hour, an hour and a half, it was like a normal year for kids. And it was really great,” says Basiuk.
But the rink, which was built in 1974 is begining to show its age.
“It’s well used, it’s well used,” says the association’s director Margaret See.
After the season ended the ice was melted, revealing the concrete floor and all the patches where repairs have been made to burst pipes which keep the frozen surface chilled. See says that during this past last season they had to cancel games while leaks were fixed.
The association rents the space from the city, but the association oversees the maintenance and upkeep. The group was able to secure a loan to buy an expensive new chiller, but now the rink itself requires a redo. They are now trying to raise $185,000 in funds for a full floor removal and installation.
“We have a long road to go we are trying to fundraise about $180,000 out of the total $300,000 project. But we are very excited about the initial response,” added See.
For Rich Scammell, this place is like a second home. The RPI Hall of Famer founded the Ice Cats, the first girls league at the rink. He also coached his daughter’s teams and now his granddaughter’s teams.
Other rinks closed during the pandemic. Without the renovations, he shudders to think what might happen for the kids who love playing the game.
“For the kids that play this game. And we are trying to grow the game, you really need this rink,” says Scammell.