Palouse Ice Rink plans new facility

The Palouse Ice Rink, long an open air structure, will receive new indoor facilities, estimated for completion by the start of the 2015 skating season.

Currently the facility is a free-standing canvas structure and is only three quarters regulation size.

Moreover, the temporary structure only allows ice to be used in colder seasons, as the rink is transformed into a traditional roller skating rink during the summer.

 “We realized this was only a temporary structure at the end of its usefulness,” Brenda Boyko, secretary of the board for the Palouse Ice Rink said.

The new rink design will be a full-size facility with an increased occupation capacity, and will host tournaments with visiting teams.

“The new ice rink will help all of the community as well as the economy,” Treasurer and Fundraising Chair for the Palouse Ice Rink Tim Gresback said.

The Palouse Ice rink is a non-profit organization that has used fundraising and donations to fund the new design and building project. The rink design plans were decided upon by a committee of board and non-board members, as well as a local architect.

A team of volunteers, and as many community skating groups, contributed on Friday to Rinkfest, an annual event hosted by the th Palouse Ice Rink. Rinkfest includes a raffle, prizes, food and entertainment. Groups involved included Moscow Polar Bear Hockey and the Palouse Youth Hockey Association.

The ice rink is located on the Latah County Fairgrounds in Moscow and has been open for fourteen years. Chris Storhok, the general manager of the Palouse Ice Rink, was part of the original group that built the ice rink in 2000.

“We’ve had all summer off and Rinkfest gets the rink community back together,” Storhok said. “It is a wonderful time.”

Gresback said Rinkfest is an opportunity to showcase demand for the rink, the different programs and the new designs, as well as to raise funds.

The need for a larger, updated rink comes from the community demand and increasing use of the facilities, going by the motto “Small rink, BIG DEMAND.”

Boyko, Gresback and Storhok are all active members at the rink, with family members involved in many of the activities and programs the rink has to offer.

Adult, youth and girls hockey, curling, figure skating and public skate are some of the programs offered.

Boyko said college students from both WSU and UI are frequent guests at the rink and often participate in cheap skate; a cheaper, late-night skating opportunity on weekends.

Another activity Boyko said many college students and community members like to participate in is broomball — a drop-in, no-experience necessary game that involves, as it’s name would suggest, brooms and a ball as opposed to a stick and puck in hockey and is played on the ice in athletic shoes.

Rinkfest marks when the rink is transformed to ice. The Palouse Ice Rink opens to the public on Oct. 11, and sessions and rental equipment can be purchased in person at the rink.