CAPE ELIZABETH — Cape Elizabeth City Council voted Feb. 14 to send the Cape Elizabeth Community Arena Group to the planning board for its proposed rink.
The council voted 5-2, allowing the Cape Community Arena Group to enter the next phase of its plan to build an outdoor ice rink. According to an online statement made by the City of Cape Elizabeth, Councilor Nicole Boucher and Councilor Gretchen Noonan both voted against the motion and said they would be willing to work with the Cape Elizabeth Community Arena Group to move forward. forward. The main issue for both advisers are the design elements and the desire to see more.
“I think there are still design elements that probably still have to be decided based on the uses that the community sees,” Boucher said. “What does the public want? What other uses are there? Right now, I hear hockey first; but maybe in a community there are different uses that are primary.
“I would like to talk about all these things that we would talk about if we were to spend the money and bid on this project, and I don’t think we’ve had this discussion yet. I’d like to see that so the design can be influenced by that and then the planning board process will go a lot smoother than trying to decide things all at once. I think that would be a great next step.
Cape Elizabeth Middle and High School teams will benefit from the project and will be utilized for multiple community uses.
Cape Elizabeth High School Hockey, Cape Elizabeth Community Service, Cape Elizabeth Soccer and the Seacoast United Maine Soccer League have all expressed interest in the project. During the winter months, the rink would be available for ice hockey, figure skating, and community skating. For pre-season spring sports, pickle ball, graduations, community summer camps, fall sports and other events would be featured uses.
Early plans for the arena include a fully covered, refrigerated ice rink and a year-round multipurpose facility. The bleachers will be located on a wall at the upper end of the roof and connected to the amenities. Facilities include a warm-up room, changing rooms, skate rental and a training room.
The arena will be located adjacent to the Public Works Building and next to Gull Crest Fields, off Cooper Drive. A potential donor has offered to fund the entire project, which is estimated to cost $5 million.
After approval, fundraising and supplies in place, the board would like to begin work in the spring so that the Cape Elizabeth High School hockey team can use the rink for part of their 2022-2023 season.
The deal will be finalized when the Cape Elizabeth Community Arena Group begins working with the planning board.