SUU One Step Closer to Ice Rink

On April 3, the Cedar City Council discussed a proposed new ice rink near the Aquatics Center that would house several activities and organizations including the SUU Hockey Club.

The project is sponsored by Staheli West, who is willing to fund the entire 2.8 million dollar project.

“If it gets built, it’s going to be a win-win for everyone,” said Jon Baker, president and captain of the hockey club. “All that we’re asking from the city is that they cover the utilities, which is a really good deal for them.”

The project would put an NHL-sized ice rink in town, compared to the roughly 60% sized rink that currently sits behind the Aquatics Center on Royal Hunter Drive.

“If we have a regulation size rink, then that could go a long way with getting growth in the school in general,” alternate captain Scott Allen said. “But especially in the hockey community.”

Several members of the hockey club attended the city council meeting to show support for the ice rink. The meeting was also at full capacity with members of the Cedar City community who also support the building of a new rink.

Baker also noted during the discussion that the new trimester system at SUU would have a positive impact on the proposed rink.

“The new trimester system means more students will use the rink more frequently,” Baker said.

One concern that arose during the meeting was the issue of the council promising several years ago to build a gymnasium to house more basketball courts so that the city’s recreation department would not have to “be at the whim” of the Iron County School District to schedule youth sports.

Dallin Staheli, one of the advocates for the new ice rink, said he understands that basketball is a big part of Cedar City, but ice skating can also be a part of the city’s culture.

“We want to see ice skating as permanent a fixture in this town as basketball,” Staheli said.

Although the city council has yet to make any official vote, the council members in attendance were in support, barring any costly financial investments either party would need to take.

“The city council had some good concerns,” Allen said. “I don’t think any of us had thought about [those issues] because we do have tunnel vision about it because we just want the rink so bad.”

The council will have their next meeting on April 9 at 5:30 p.m. for a presentation on the possible effects that the new ice rink can have on the town. An official vote will hopefully be reached by May 8.

Story by Kurt Meacham
Photo Courtesy of Kurt Meacham