First on 3: Benson Ice Rink Getting Facelift
A place where kids have competed for generations will be renovated. The Benson Ice Rink closed down in January 2009 and, the city says, was too expensive to reopen for hockey.Photo: Video by kmtv.com
CREATED Jun. 25, 2013
Omaha, NE -- A place where kids have competed for generations will be renovated. The Benson Ice Rink closed down in January 2009 and, the city says, was too expensive to reopen for hockey.
The facility has been collecting dust for nearly 5 years, since the north part of the roof collapsed under the weight of snow. Many have wondered what's coming next, if anything. Now the city's ready to turn it into a year round multi-purpose facility that will include a walking trail, batting cages, and a large floor that can be used for soccer, basketball, and baseball.
"It's unfortunate that we don't have an ice rink here anymore, but due to the cost of what it would be to put it back we just don't have the money to do it. And with a smaller amount of money and private money I think we're going to turn this into a top notch facility," said Omaha Parks Director Brook Bench.
The city estimates it would've cost $1.5 million to put the ice back in, so instead they worked with OPS to find out where there's a need. Gym space was a desperate need in the Benson area for schools to use.
“We've been trying to figure out a way where we can come together to offer that here all year round. Not only for Omaha Public Schools, but for all the other kids and other activities we can do here," Bench explained.
The city estimates spending around $250,000 on the facility, which doesn’t include private donations. They hope to start work in the fall, and have it open to the public early next year.