Ice hockey com­plex com­ing to Ham­mond

Post Tribune (Sunday) - - News - By Rob Earn­shaw Post-Tri­bune

The puck is about to drop in Ham­mond as of­fi­cials have bro­ken ground on a new $7.5 mil­lion ice hockey com­plex.

Lo­cated at the for­mer Ham­mond FOP site at 2825 J.F. Ma­honey Drive in the Hessville neigh­bor­hood ad­ja­cent to Dowl­ing Park, the 94,000-square-foot in­door fa­cil­ity is ex­pected to open next Au­gust.

Mayor Thomas M. McDer­mott Jr. said Nov. 7 that the com­plex fits in well with where the city is go­ing. Ty­ing it in with the new Ham­mond Sport­splex, he said the fa­cil­i­ties will help make Ham­mond a des­ti­na­tion for sport­ing events and tour­na­ments for fam­i­lies and their ath­letes from all over the Mid­west.

“It’s a great project,” he said.

McDer­mott said the com­plex will start off with one rink and then ex­pand to two full-sized sheets of ice.

Flanked by mem­bers of the Bishop Noll Hockey Club, McDer­mott said the fa­cil­ity will help le­git­imize hockey as a high school sport and that of­fi­cials from nearby Pur­due North­west Univer­sity are con­sid­er­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties for them as well.

Bishop Noll hockey coach Rich So­bilo, who will be di­rec­tor of the com­plex, said the rinks are needed be­cause of lim­ited ice time at fa­cil­i­ties in St. John and Oak Lawn, Ill.

“Its de­mand is im­me­di­ate, its im­pact is sub­stan­tial and its po­ten­tial is lim­it­less,” So­bilo said. "We be­lieve this project will be a big bea­con for the city of Ham­mond."

Bishop Noll ju­nior and hockey club mem­ber Colin Lenzo lives in High­land, only a few min­utes away from the new rink.

“I’m look­ing for­ward to it,” he said. “It will make my life a lot eas­ier play­ing hockey here.”

The com­plex is be­ing de­vel­oped by Ice Kube LLC.

Rob Earn­shaw is a free­lance re­porter for the Post-Tri­bune.

ROB EARN­SHAW/POST-TRI­BUNE

Ham­mond Mayor Thomas McDer­mott Jr. speaks dur­ing the ground­break­ing Wed­nes­day for the city’s new ice hockey com­plex near Dowl­ing Park.

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