for Fair Grounds
October through March
Directors of the Delaware State Fair approved construction of an ice rink on the fairgrounds at Harrington during their regular meeting Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2000.
Fair officials said Thursday, Dec. 22, that the rink will be built according to National Hockey League standards with an ice surface of 185' x 85' and will operate from October through March each year. The facility will serve 4-H and FFA exhibits during the Fair and as meeting and conference facilities when not in use as an ice rink.
Robert C. MacLeish of Lighthouse Construction, the Fair's construction manager, anticipates groundbreaking in August 2001 with completion in time for the 2002 Fair.
Fair officials said the rink will offer open public skating, ice time for scholastic competition, a variety of instructional programs, and amateur hockey leagues.
The rink is expected to include a pro shop, concession area, bleacher seating, and rooms for private functions such as birthday parties and office outings.
From April through September, the rink will be removed and replaced with a 41,000-square foot exhibit hall with full banquet facilities that can be leased for educational gatherings, trade shows, seminars and related activities.
Fair President William J. DiMondi said the Fair has been encouraged by support from local recreational departments, hockey clubs, figure skating clubs and league officials.
"We have received strong indications that we can look forward to receiving full cooperation from Kent County and the Dover and Milford parks and recreation departments as resources for program development," said DiMondi.
"Likewise, our talks with similar entities throughout Southern Delaware and Maryland's Eastern Shore have been just as productive. We are grateful that, with their help, we'll be able to offer a full slate of programs that will be of benefit to the entire region."
The exhibition hall and private meeting rooms will be equipped with state-of-the-art audio and visual capabilities, officials said. The size of the facility will also double exhibit space for the 4-H and FFA organizations. Air conditioning and meeting space and restrooms for exhibitors and the public will be provided.
"We are very excited to be a part of the project in this area," said MacLeish. "There are not enough recreational choices, and to have an ice rink so centrally located is just a very exciting prospect."
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