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New year, new team, new rink

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New year, new team, new rink

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of the new rink renovations” />Within the past year, the Orono Hockey Community has come home with a number of exciting wins. A new year means new teams, but nothing will be holding the Orono hockey teams back because recently there has been a huge change that may just be the key to success this 2018-19 season. You may be thinking, what is the big news? In 2016, final plans were made to update the Orono Ice Arena, and in late 2017, the plans began to develop.

I love the new rink renovations! The new workout facility allows our team to get better and have fun while doing it,he new lockers rooms are great too! Bigger and better than the last ones, I was really happy with the way everything turned out.”

— Jack Kubitz

The road to this big decision came with lots of discussion and was finalized amongst the board of directors which is made up of three members; one selected from the Orono School Board, another from the Orono Youth Hockey Association, and lastly, a member selected from the city council.

It was time for the rink, built in 1997, to have some necessary updates and new features put in place, and it all started from the first component of shrinking the size of the current ice sheet.

According to the official site of Orono Hockey, the decision was made to “reduce the size of the ice sheet from Olympic size to NHL size to ensure that Orono hockey players are playing, learning and practicing on the same type of rink as virtually all competing associations.”

The rink continued its renovations by replacing and upgrading the dehumidification and refrigeration systems, constructing an upper level warming house, adding shower and bathroom facilities, and, voted most favorite by the Orono High Schools Varsity Teams, new locker rooms and a dryland training area for all teams to use.

“I love the new rink renovations! The new workout facility allows our team to get better and have fun while doing it,” senior varsity captain Jack Kubitz said. “The new lockers rooms are great too! Bigger and better than the last ones, I was really happy with the way everything turned out.”

The entire renovation was possible because of the generous donations contributed by many hockey families as well as local businesses, such as Birches on the Lake, around the Long Lake and Orono area.

All the donations allowed the renovation to continue in a timely manner and was close to complete by spring of 2018. Today the rink continues to add small details such as painting, photos, and banners, but the overall project has just about come to its end.

Though there are still minor additions being added, the new facility has already been put to good use. Girls and boys teams have used the workout/dryland and shooting room to develop their individual and team skills, as well as warm up before games. During games the teams have begun to use the new and improved locker rooms, now located behind the benches.

The upper facilitation is clearly the athletes favorite part of the renovation, but what the parents love most is the new warming house located aside from the dryland facility.

“Being able to watch both of my kids play hockey while I am still warm and enjoying a fantastic view has allowed me to find more value in the game of hockey and I have also learned to appreciate it more,” parent Susie Bazil said.

The Orono community has been given a grand gift that has and will continue to open opportunities for all hockey players and spectators to use and enjoy throughout the many years to come.

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About the Contributor
Vivian Rohrer, Sports Editor & Business Manager

Hi, my name is Vivian Rohrer! This is my second year on the Spartan Speaks staff & I am so excited to be the sports editor & business manager....

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