Ice rink in Avon — why the recreation center? |

Ice rink in Avon — why the recreation center?

A pick-up hockey game is played on the new ice rink outside of the Avon Rec Center on Friday. After a couple of incidents with thin ice on Nottingham Lake, the Town of Avon has decided to utilize a land-based alternative for the second year in a row.
Townsend Bessent | |

AVON — Now in its second year, the ice in front of the recreation center on Lake Street could become a regular winter fixture in town.

John Curutchet, the town’s director of parks, recreation and facilities, describes the town as being in a transitional period right now when it comes to ice.

“One of the things we’re looking at is potentially a slab of concrete, which would be a splash pad in the summer, potentially with a chiller to make (Lake Street) the permanent site, if we think that’s appropriate,” Curutchet said.

After a couple of incidents with thin ice on Nottingham Lake, one in which the Zamboni machine went through the ice, the town is not considering a return to the days of frozen lake skating.

“There were two major incidents, one where we almost lost an employee,” Town Manager Virginia Egger said.

“The level of fear to go back out on that ice, it’s enormous,” Curutchet said.


Still, Avon residents questioned the decision at the council’s last meeting.

“Why are we building a temporary skating rink outside the rec center when we have a perfectly good lake which we all used to enjoy?” one resident asked.

Councilwoman Sarah Smith Hymes said coming from a hockey family, one of her priorities in running for council was to try to figure out a way for residents to be able to use the lake for skating.

“I looked into it because I really did feel like, you know, where there’s a will there’s a way,” she said. “But with temperature changes and insurance issues, it’s actually a huge liability. It breaks my heart that we can’t do it because it’s been the center of activity for this town for years, but I personally came to the conclusion that it’s a road we just can’t go down.”


Egger said the only hope for Nottingham Lake skating is now in the private sector.

“We could make it available to a private sector business who wants to come in and take all that risk,” she said.

Mayor Jennie Fancher said the tennis club she belonged to as a kid doubled as a skating club in the winter. Former Mayor Buzz Reynolds said he has also heard of tennis courts that are flooded and frozen in the winter.

“I think it’s something we ought to look at,” he said.

Curutchet said the town is currently looking into putting boards up at the site to accommodate hockey players.

“We also discussed bringing up a net from the pickleball court to protect the side (facing the road),” he said.

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