Dek hockey rink in Cranberry ahead of schedule

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The building of a dek hockey rink in Cranberry‘‍s Graham Park is moving ahead on an expedited schedule.

Funded by the Pittsburgh Penguins Foundation and Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield, Project Power Play is an initiative begun in 2012 to build a dozen rinks in the Pittsburgh region within a four-year period. The rink in Cranberry is the first to be built outside of Allegheny County.

“It’s another demonstration of the value of partnerships with the private sector,” Cranberry manager Jerry Andree said.

He said township staff had heard of Project Power Play and approached the township’s contacts with the Penguins team to see if Cranberry could get in line for funding. The Penguins are involved in an ongoing commercial development in Cranberry — construction of a team practice rink and a sports medicine office building along Route 228.

“They immediately were supportive and put us in contact with the foundation. We’re thrilled that it has all worked out,” Mr. Andree said.

Township manpower is being tapped for site preparation work, and Mark Mashuda, a local contractor, is donating equipment and time. Site work began in June. The rink is slated for completion in October, which was the original time that the project was to have begun. But, Mr. Andree said, the foundation was willing to expedite the project and Cranberry was happy to accommodate that schedule so that a new facility will be ready in time for fall hockey.

The rinks can be used as multi-purpose courts. They are 155 feet by 75 feet and appropriate for use in dek hockey as well as lacrosse and soccer, according to the Penguins’ Project Power Play website. The site notes that each rink will include a dasher board system, a scoreboard, player benches covered by metal shelters, a penalty box, and goals at each end. Start-up dek hockey equipment also will be presented to the township via the initiative.

Pete Geis, Cranberry parks and recreation director, said the value of the project is $207,000.

“We’re committed to developing a dek hockey program. We thik it’s important to offer another asset to our community. We’re a fairly large population with minimal dek hockey options in the region,” he said.

He said the township will schedule the rink for use by leagues but open time also will be available for users. The rink is near the first softball field in Graham Park.

Karen Kane: or 724-772-9180.

Karen Kane: or at 724-772-9180.

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