Mayor William Peduto announced plans last week for a new outdoor dek hockey rink in Bloomfield Park. The arena will be built in partnership with the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Pittsburgh Penguins Foundation’s Project Power Play program.
Project Power Play is a three-year plan that began in 2012. The Pittsburgh Penguins Foundation and Highmark teamed up on a $2.1 million project to build 12 dek hockey rinks in the Pittsburgh area. The Bloomfield rink will be the fourth facility built by the Penguins and the city, following others in Banksville, Brookline and Hazelwood.
Dek hockey is essentially street hockey, played without skates or ice and often using a ball in place of a puck.
“Part of the reason for the Penguins Foundation is to get kids off the couch and exercising, and to value sports and competitiveness and the lessons they learn through sports,” says Penguins President David Morehouse, who played street hockey growing up in Beechview. “Physical activity and education is what we’re focused on.”
The project is designed to give young hockey players access to newly constructed, outdoor, multi-use athletic facilities. These structures provide safe areas to play games under the supervision of established organizations, according to the mayor’s office.
“We do everything we can as an organization to fulfill the needs of the community as far as helping kids see if they really want to pursue ice hockey," says Pittsburgh Penguins Foundation President David Soltesz. "That’s why we do the deks, the equipment in the schools, why we have the YMCA programs — trying to nurture our sport and trying to help these kids.”
The dek location will be adjacent to Officer Paul J. Sciullo II Memorial Field. The Sciullo family was in attendance when Mayor Peduto announced the rink.
“This facility will be built as a legacy to a community that has invested heavily into the sport, and it will be in the shadow of Paul Sciullo Field, recognizing a great life, a great person and a great athlete,” Peduto says. “We want to give to other kids the same opportunities that Paul had to help guide his life and follow in his footsteps.”
Construction is expected to start in June and be completed in October. Existing bocce courts and a playground will be moved slightly and a new parking lot will be built under the Bloomfield Bridge. The project cost is roughly $800,000.
A map of the site is available here
Writer: Caroline Gerdes
Source: Office of Mayor William Peduto