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Agreement Reached to Move Hockey Rink

The rink will move several yards to accommodate more fans at a nearby band shell.
JOHNSTOWN, CAMBRIA COUNTY - An agreement has been reached to help protect a couple of popular recreation facilities, one of which activists have been working to save for nearly 10 years.

Supporters of the historic Roxbury Bandshell say they are excited about the future with a big problem about a nearby hockey rink has been resolved.

It was before work got underway to renovate, repair and restore the Roxbury bandshell that recreation officials in the Johnstown area built a roller hockey rink on part of what was the seating area in front of the bandshell.

As the reputation of the refurbished bandshell has spread, supporters wanted more audience room for a growing list of concerts.

“They are very important,” said Tim Burns with the Roxbury Bandshell Alliance. “Tourism is vital for towns like Johnstown that are trying to rebuild their economy. This bandshell brings in bands from across the nation.”

To restore that audience space a plan has been put in place to move the hockey rink about 35 feet away from the bandshell and off to the side. Bandshell supporters say that should clear up a long-standing problem.

“And then realized that the skate rink is really impeding on our space for our visitors  and our concert goers,” said Mary Borkow with the Roxbury Bandshell Alliance. “So we have asked the city and it’s taken several years, until we have gotten to the point where we have a really nice friendly compromise.”

Hockey rink supporters are willing to go along with the move because they have been promised a new all-season rink surface that can be used for ice as well as roller hockey. The new rink will be NHL regulation size for the first time.

They expect the new rink and expanded concert space will both benefit the greater Johnstown community.
“In being part of the facility out here, we are looking forward to offering some additional programming for kids and families,” said Vicki Clark, Johnstown YMCA Marketing Director.

Work on the project will not get underway until the funding needed need for the new rink, estimated at $200,000, is raised by project supporters. Their goal is to be able to make the move this coming spring.
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