Photo: The varsity softball field.
The promise of a new ice skating rink and multi-purpose recreation center serving Belmont’s residents and sports teams took a baby step forward as the Belmont School Committee voted unanimously on Tuesday, Dec. 1 to allow a survey of school-owned property near Belmont High School by the non-profit seeking to build the facility.
The decision gives permission for the Belmont Youth Hockey Association to hire a firm to perform evaluation work on school property currently occupied by the Belmont High Varsity Softball field to determine if the surface is suitable for the construction of a recreation center and ice surface.
“It’s a small step forward, but it is forward,” said Bob Mulroy, who has become the association’s point person for the project, that would include an NHL-sized skating rink, a second “half” skating surface that transforms into a field house for half the year, modern locker rooms, a community fitness center, and many more amenities.
According to Belmont School Superintendent John Phelan, the land survey will allow the association to return to the committee with a more detailed and concrete feasibility study.
The $6.5 million complex – which would include off-street, on-site parking – would be overseen by a non-profit public/private partnership that would incorporate a wide array of town departments, the school committee, youth hockey and funders on the board.
In exchange for the land to build the center, Belmont schools, and high school teams will have use of the facilities at no cost.