Renovated In-Line Skating Rink Reopens

Goaltender Bryan Kelley was out stopping pucks within minutes after the ribbon cutting on Saturday morning. (Photo by Steve Bowman)

Skaters like smoother, faster surface, sturdier boards

By Steve Bowman
Editor, The Brentwood Spirit

Everyone who attended the ribbon cutting received a commemorative squishy foam hockey puck. (Photo by Steve Bowman)

Brentwood city officials must have felt some relief on Saturday at the ribbon cutting for the newly renovated in-line hockey rink. When the project began last fall they had hoped it would be completed by late February. But the project was extended by two months thanks to a harsh winter and, according to one report, a delay in delivery of the new boards surrounding the rink.

But of the approximately two dozen people watching the ribbon cutting on Saturday morning, perhaps nobody was more relieved than the hockey players themselves. As soon as the ceremony ended, a half dozen of them skated out onto the new surface and began playing a half-rink game.

“This rink came out great,” said Bryan Kelley of Frontenac, after playing goaltender for a half hour . “It used to be bad. There were big cracks in the rink and the walls were falling in. We had to prop up a wall with a bleacher.”

Now Kelley and his buddies are playing on a buttery smooth concrete surface instead of asphalt, and the plastic dasher boards they sometimes worried about bumping into are reassuringly solid.

“This is really awesome,” said another goalie, Charles Swederska, who also plays at an inline rink in Maplewood but says it’s “tinier” than Brentwood’s. “It’s so good.”

The main improvements to the rink are the playing surface, the boards around the surface and the fencing above the boards.

City officials at the ribbon cutting included (from left) alderwoman Cindy Manestar, Facility Supervisor Dan Kornfeld, Mayor Pat Kelley, alderman Lee Wynn, parks and recreaton Business Manager Sue Krewson, Recreation Supervisor Brad Barbeau and Recreation Superintendent Eric Gruenenfelder. (Photo by Steve Bowman)

Surface

The old playing surface was asphalt with a coating known as Street Ice. It was demolished and replaced by concrete. Brentwood Recreation Superintendent Eric Gruenenfelder said it should last “15 to 20 years with minimal maintenance,” with sealant applied every few years. A new concrete surface was also installed around the outside of the rink.

“The rink is slightly smaller than an NHL rink,” said Recreation Supervisor Brad Barbeau. “We’re one of the bigger in-line rinks in the St. Louis area.”

Cindy Manestar, Lee Wynn and Pat Kelley address a small crowd before the ribbon is cut. (Photo by Steve Bowman)

Dasher Boards

The old plastic dasher boards have been replaced by boards with an aluminum frame and compression-molded fiberglass panels. The Border Patrol Pro 4000A boards are made by Athletica. Above the boards, replacing the old vinyl netting, is a vinyl-coated chain-link fence. The fence is higher on the north end where traffic passes by on Strassner Drive.

Eric Gruenenfelder (right) organized a shooting contest for kids after the ribbon cutting. (Photo by Steve Bowman)
Avery White takes her turn in the shooting contest as Sue Krewson and Eric Gruenenfelder watch. (Photo by Steve Bowman)

Harsh Winter Delays Project

The engineer on the project was Grimes Consulting Inc. and the project manager was Lawlor Corporation, whose winning bid was $264,700. The renovation lasted six months, from Oct. 28 to April 25. Initially city officials said they wanted to have the project completed by late February.

“We had hoped to have it done by the start of the calendar year but with the harsh winter we didn’t have two business days in a row when it was over 40 degrees and dry,” said Gruenenfelder.

The website 40 South News also reported that there was a delay in obtaining the dasher boards.

Bob Scheiber and his preschool-age son Bobby were excited to see the renovation completed.

“I go jogging by here and have been checking on the progress of this project for months,” Bob said. “When I walk by here with my son he says ‘It’s coming.’ He loves goalies; when he sees a Blues goalkeeper on TV he says, ‘That’s me.’”

Bobby Scheiber and his father were among the first to try out the new playing surface. (Photo by Steve Bowman)
Breaking in the new surface on Sunday are Brentwood High School students Morgan Murphy (left) and Steven Suntrup. (Photo by Steve Bowman)
Enjoying having the rink to themselves on Sunday afternoon are BHS classmates (from left) Steven Suntrup, Skylar Sappington and Morgan Murphy. (Photo by Steve Bowman)

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