Although most people have stashed their ice skates away for the summer, local hockey players and like-minded sports enthusiasts have all waited in eager anticipation for the opening of the new sports complex that is coming to Springville this year. That anticipation may ease, or possibly even grow, this week, as those leading the project determine a concrete date as to when the construction will begin.
Mike Kaleta, uncle of Buffalo Sabres star Forward Patrick Kaleta and Springville building inspector, who is helping to lead the project, mentioned that a date will be determined “very soon,” adding, “We’re making up our minds this week.” Throughout this time frame, those involved with the building process, like contractors and officials like Kaleta, will solidify a date for when the construction will begin.
As to whether a formal ceremony will be held to kick off the construction for the new sporting complex, Kaleta discussed that such an event is possible; however, at the moment, such plans are still being determined. Should there be a formal ceremony, Kaleta answered a question concerning the presence of his nephew Patrick at the event by commenting, “If he could do it.”
Although some details regarding the construction and the early phases of the rink’s opening are still being devised, a sheet of ice will be ready for the upcoming hockey season. Once the rink has been constructed, varsity, junior varsity and modified teams from the school will all be set to take the ice. However, it will still take another season before house leagues and similar organizations are up and running, because many local players are still involved with leagues in other towns for the upcoming season.
While the process of forming leagues is still in the works, the sporting complex will eventually be run by individuals hired by Patrick Kaleta’s Helping Individuals to Smile Foundation. The government will remain mostly absent from the ownership and operation of the sporting complex. And, according to Mike Kaleta, funding has come entirely through private means, even though there is potential to receive aid from the Concord Industrial Development Agency, a non-profit public benefit corporation. But despite this potential, Kaleta said receiving aid from the Concord IDA will most likely be unnecessary, because the remainder of funding appears as though it will stem through private means.
Once the sporting complex has been finished, it will contain not only an ice rink, but other amenities as well, such as a “basketball court, a turfed area the same size as the ice rink, a pro-shop, the HITS Foundation offices, and educational rooms,” according to Kaleta, who added that there are also plans to include a snack shop and locker rooms, amongst other resources.
Although Kaleta jokingly discussed that “Pat may grab buddies from time to time” to come and play at the rink, ultimately, the purpose of opening such a complex in Springville was to provide a local source of ice for families and to create a center that local youth can utilize.