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Letter: Hamilton Ice Arena in need of attention


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Note: The statements, views, and opinions contained in this letter to the editor are those of the author and are not endorsed by, nor do they necessarily reflect, the opinions of The Republic.

From: Allison Clark

Columbus

Received: Feb. 19

I am writing in support of sports tourism here in Columbus, IN. We cannot look away from the positives it brings a community after watching the wonderful Super Bowl Event in Indianapolis, IN.

We have a wonderful infrastructure already in place here in Columbus, IN. There are several organizations that could use funding to continue or better their efforts. One in particular is Hamilton Center Ice Arena. This facility has really suffered over the years from a lack of capital investment. This building is listed on our historical architecture tour, and personally I am embarrassed with the way we as a community have chosen to present it.

The exterior is tolerable, but a visitor will quickly see that the interior has not been maintained or updated in keeping with the architect’s original idea. If we want to highlight this facility as “unexpected and unforgettable” we need to present it in that manner.

There are many other issues that pertain to the purpose and use of the facility. One major problem is a leaky roof, which necessitates that buckets be brought out to catch rain water when it rains. There are not enough benches for users to sit on to dress for skating. In several areas of the facility the rubber flooring is nonexistent, which is required to walk on in skates. The safety of our users is at risk with the boards that surround each ice surface.

There are several uneven spots between wood panels that could cause user injury. There are doors that surround the ice that do not latch properly and could cause injury. The glass above these boards has so many marks and scrapes that parents cannot see through the glass to watch their child’s event. These are just a few of the issues with our ice arena.

I am reaching out to our community leaders to consider using some of the now-available money from the issued bond to update Hamilton Center Ice Arena. This bond was issued for the purpose of sports, and I believe we should use it in that manner.

We have a wonderful start to sports tourism here in Columbus with major events being held here, and I think we should continue with support and infrastructure. This thought process also aligns with the Reach healthy community initiative. We want our community to be fit, healthy and active, and what better way than to provide the facilities needed to support that effort.

Another thought to consider is Hamilton Center is centrally located in the community. Have we ever considered expanding this facility to be our central sports complex? I think there is some viability in that thought process.

In closing, I ask our community leaders to listen to these words and consider them when making decisions about the future of our community. I am a parent with three young boys who participate in several sports in our community.

 

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