Skating rink to remain; former tenants to return

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Bladerunners ice-skating complex in the Warrendale section of Marshall is no longer for sale, and its owners and tenants expect to sign a new three-year rental contract extension.

"We wanted to make sure there was some stability within the hockey community, said Jim Lybarger, director of operations for Bladerunners. Bladerunners had been on the market for about 15 months when its owners, Kratsa Properties, and Grace Community Church in Cranberry agreed last summer on a sale. Grace Community wanted the property to expand, but Marshall's zoning laws didn't list a church as an acceptable use in the Thorn Hill Industrial Park.

The church asked Marshall to rezone the property, but township planners said no.

Mr. Lybarger said the property was removed from the market because no other buyer stepped forward.

Dan Hubert, president of the North Pittsburgh Hockey Association, said it was a "huge relief" to be entering into a new agreement with Bladerunners.

Even though the contract calls for an increase in rental fees from $255 to $275 an hour, he called the proposal fair and very similar to contracts his group and Bladerunners have had in the past.

More than 400 youths in the North Pittsburgh amateur league, ages 5 to 18, use the rink, Mr. Hubert said.

In addition, Mars, Seneca Valley, North Allegheny and Ambridge hockey teams use the complex, as do men's and women's hockey groups from Slippery Rock University, Mr. Lybarger said.

He said he expected Bladerunners to enter into new agreements with most if not all of the former tenants within a few weeks.


Rachael Conway: rconway@post-gazette.com or 724-772-4799.


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