Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Ice Arena In Westbrook Seems Definite, But Where and When?

One way or another, it appears certain Westbrook will get an ice hockey arena of some sort. The only questions seem to be where and when.

Besides explicit references to a rink within the Stroudwater Place Contract Zone (2.5 hours of each day have already been reserved for Westbrook residents in the imaginary skating rink and there's a stipulation in the contract zone that requires the construction of an ice rink before the developers receive approval for 1.2 million square feet of commercial space), a skating rink also figures prominently in the plans for the re-use of Wescott Junior High.

Now, considering the Stroudwater Place Contract Zone gives the developers the option to either construct a facility on their own property or to "agree on a monetary contribution from 500 Westbrook LLC to assist the City in constructing or operating an off-site facility," I wouldn't be surprised if an ice rink is built at Wescott Junior High School, with significant funding coming from Stroudwater Place. On the other hand, Portland Pirates CEO Brian Petrovek floated the possibility of Westbrook (or Scarborough) becoming the site of a new civic center* in an interview with WJAB yesterday afternoon, so it might be intriguing for the developers of Stroudwater Place to just construct such a facility on their property.

Whatever happens, I don't think the current skating rinks on Lincoln Street and Stroudwater Street will be the only places to skate in Westbrook for very long.

- John C.L. Morgan

*Though he did briefly mention the possibility of a civic center in Westbrook or Scarborough, Petrovek focused primarily on the current efforts to renovate the civic center.

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