A new $28 million, state-of-the-art ice rink in Maryland will replace a rink destroyed by fire.
The 2017 fire destroyed the Tucker Road Ice Rink in Fort Washington.
“It was a shock, initially,” Tucker Road Parent Hockey Organization President Alexandria Briggs-Blake said. “I remember thinking, OK, so it's a fire, they put it out, so when is it going to reopen.”
Briggs-Blake realized her son and his hockey team, the Tucker Road Ducks, would have to find somewhere else to play.
“It was a challenge, but I refused to let the team be dismantled,” she said.
Now the construction of a new rink is complete.
“This far surpasses our previous ice rink,” said Betty Hewlett of Maryland National Park and Planning.
The new Tucker Road Ice Rink has an NHL-size rink, a dance room for stretching, a heated seating area, a cafe and a lounge featuring a fireplace. The community helped design the rink.
“Of course, everybody was frustrated because of the fire, but when they saw how this was unfolding and we got their input and it really was collaborative, I mean everyone is so excited. It is just win, win, win,” Hewlett said.
There's also tribute payed to Maryland-born Mathew Henson, the Black explorer who was the first to reach the North Pole.
“We were involved as stakeholders from the very beginning and decided let's give it a Matthew Henson theme, and it’s northern lights,” Briggs-Blake said. “So if you go to the rink at night, you'll see lights on the side of the rink, and when you go in, there are lights on the ceiling and they change colors.”
For kids who figure skate and ice skate there, having a quality facility may be an icebreaker for what's next.
“We can say it for the NBA, we can say if for the NFL, that we have Prince George’s County residents who play in their leagues, so, NHL, it's coming. You'll see,’ Briggs-Blake said.
The building has the capacity to add a second rink if additional funding becomes available.
The ribbon cutting for the new rink is Saturday.
There is limited attendance due to COVID-19.
The rink will host free skating on Saturdays and Sundays. Find more information here.