ROSELLE, NJ - Home of the Summit High School Boys Hockey Team, Warinanco Sports Center -- new remodeled to at cost of $7 million -- has re-opened in a ceremony that included state and municipal leaders. The project doubled the facility’s size, transforming it into a year-round venue for skating, baseball, softball, soccer and lacrosse.
“Our vision was to provide modernized amenities while creating a venue that can remain in use year-round for other purposes,” said Bruce H. Bergen, Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders. “We are excited to be opening an exciting update that has restored the skating rink to full prominence.”
After years of trying to get approval for the renovation of the skating rink, which was built in 1961, the project -- which was financed through the Union County Parks and Recreation Department -- was completed over a two-year period.
Armando Sanchez, the County’s director of recreational facilities, said, “We took the same model we used for the Galloping Hill Golf course to the freeholders and said, ‘Look at the success, and we are going to do it again. We are going to build a great management team.’ They said, ‘If you are going to do the same thing then we are in’. It passed 9-0.”
Part of that management team is Sports Facilities Management which will also be involved in both the re-branding and marketing of the new Warinanco Sports Center, as well as the park itself. “We are asked what our goals are,” said Eric Sullivan, vice president of sports facility management. “We say our goals are the county’s goals. We want to have as many people in the community come out and enjoy the facility.”
Their first steps were to define the needs and wants of the community, listening to the participants who use this popular park. “We want to create greater opportunities for families and children and keep this park like it was our own,” said Sullivan.
Elements of the renovation / modernization included:
- A new state-of-the-art field house measuring 11,000 square feet, including two rooms for parties, a large food concession area, a video game room, and skate rental room;
- A new exterior seating area that will be covered, protecting patrons from the elements;
- The rink’s refrigeration system has been renovated;
- A new ice rink floor has been installed (covering the same foot print), including new refrigeration piping, LEED lighting and reflective ceiling, which is made from a material which will help prevent humidity build-up;
- New flooring in the rink as well as new boards, glass and goals;
- An all-new gas fireplace -- stone covered and running the height of the field house;
- Big-screen TVs throughout;
- Team locker rooms.
Later this summer, field turf will be laid on the rink floor along with baseball / softball batting cages where baseball and softball leagues, soccer clubs and lacrosse teams can play.