Volunteers save the Bayshore Ice Rink

Updated: May. 28, 2021 at 6:21 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Nine months after it had been marked for demolition, the ice rink at Bayshore Elementary School is about to reopen to community.

It has a new surface, and new boards. Quite a difference from what used to stand on the site.

Cracks opened up all around the surface, while the wood panels had holes in them. The Anchorage School District declared the rink unsafe last August and removed it, and wanted to get rid of the rink that first opened in the 1970s.

“I feel great, rink came together nice,” said Derek Tannahill, one of the members of Save the Bayshore Rink. The volunteer group worked to get a new rink installed.

That was easier said than done. The new rink cost roughly $30,000. Plus, throw in shipping it up from Minnesota, and construction, Tannahill and other group members put the final price tag at more than $100,000.

“It was a hard year to fundraise,” Tannahill said. “But it came together in the last few months. We had some big donors step up, had some contractors step up, all kinds of donations.”

Some of the donations include the installation of the new surface, and assembling the new rink, while Tannehill said the school district added new lights. Tannahill said contractors will install new fences behind the goals next week. That’s the final part of the project.

The community will then have another place to play hockey. That brought back memories for Tannahill of when he skated at the rink.

“Just learning to skate, coming out with my friends, we could just walk over,” Tannahill recalled. “We could play until it got dark or until the lights came on, just learn to play hockey basically.”

Tannahill believes the new rink will last 30 years.

A community celebration is being planned before the new rink opens to the public.

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