ENGLEWOOD — Rob Kruzel and his fellow street hockey players may soon be lacing up their skates in Englewood.
The Charlotte County Commission voted unanimously Tuesday to invest as much as $200,000 for repairs and restoration of the hockey rink at Tringali Recreation Center in Englewood.
The county’s facilities and maintenance staff is still determining extent of the damage and exactly what repairs will be needed to make the rink safe for skaters, said Anthony Maddox, facilities director.
As president of the Tringali Hockey and Sports League, Kruzel is glad to see it finally happening.
He’s been persistent in his efforts to encourage the county to fix the rink since the county shut it down more than two years ago.
“I appreciate everything you are doing, and I know it is going to get done,” Kruzel said. “I am happy it is moving forward. Hopefully, it will not take another year for us to get back on the rink.”
In 2019, Charlotte County closed the rink after several failed efforts to repair it. It’s been closed ever since. Hockey players from Englewood and other communities now have to travel to Bradenton or Ellenton if they want to play.
Maddox explained how the rink’s concrete surface with webs of spider cracks. The plan is that the concrete surface needs to be ground down once or maybe twice. The rink will need an acrylic surface coating, he suggested.
“If we were to demo the entire hockey rink, we would be at (a cost of) $400,000,” he said.
Originally, Kruzel had hoped the hockey rink would have made the final cut for projects funded by the Charlotte County’s 1% sales tax extension that voters passed in November 2020. No such luck.
But the commissioners stepped up to see the rink repaired. They left the details to Maddox.