There’s a cool new place for the community to gather in New Haven.
Friday night, the Ralph Walker Rink reopened after a second phase of renovations.
The city was thinking of just closing the decrepit rink altogether, but when some people expressed their love for it local leaders decided to transform it into a community asset.
At the start of this year, $3 million went into expanding the length of the ice to regulation size. Plumbing and other necessities were updated.
The size of the sheet of ice is important because now that the rink is regulation sized teams can rent the rink for hockey games, bringing additional income into the city.
The rink opened in time for February break this year, but around mid-March closed again to add locker rooms and a new concession building with a separate party room covered by Albertus Magnus College.
“Last year we had the ice rink up, but not the building and we introduced hockey to the youths and for the six week period we had the rink open, this place was packed,” said New Haven Deputy Director of Parks and Recreation Bill Dixon.
Friday night, Albertus Magnus’ inaugural hockey team will face-off against Anna Maria College for the first Division III hockey game at the renovated rink.
The rink is officially open to the public after Thanksgiving.
“For the kids they’ll be learn to skate programs. It will be open skating for the public. They don’t make shoes big enough for me, so I can’t get on this ice, but we’re ready to provide this program for the people,” said Dixon.
The rink is covered, but not enclosed, so make sure to bundle up for activities.