What’s going on at the Civic Center?
For decades, the Saranac Lake Civic Center has been a pillar of the athletic and recreational community and "More Than Just Ice" here in Saranac Lake. In 1970, through the hard work of volunteers and the local Pee Wee Hockey Association, the center was brought to life. Since then, the civic center has served as a place for hockey practices, games, and tournaments, figure skating, public skating, and more. While the center has seen upgrades and renovations like the installation of plastic matting, refrigeration, artificial ice, and more, time brings about the need for upgrades. With the FISU World University Games on the horizon, there was no better time than now to make those changes. If you happened to find yourself driving past the Civic Center since December 2021, it’s been clear that something has been going on. Let’s find out exactly what's happening with the Saranac Lake Civic Center.
$7 million worth of upgrades to be exact, and that money has been put to good use. The new center will now include six new locker rooms with bathrooms, a new lobby complete with air conditioning, a second floor viewing area with heated floors, 500-seat spectator stands, an upgraded ice plant with a new chiller, LED lighting, insulated exterior siding, and a snack bar. A new Zamboni and scoreboard will also be part of the upgrades, along with a new expanded parking lot to better accommodate visitors and team buses. What’s more, the money for upgrades has been used as efficiently and cost effectively as possible. The new Civic Center will reuse materials from the previous version of the center. For example, the backside of the building will use siding that was being used on the old version of the building. Other materials that were saved and will be recycled are hockey glass, plywood, and boards from the old bleachers that can be used for the renovated center. This allowed the money raised to be spent on things that were absolutely needed.
In two words, “a lot.” Most notably, the FISU World University Games, in Lake Placid that start in 2023. Ten nations are expected to compete in curling at the Saranac Lake Civic Center. The expected women’s field will include Australia, China, Canada, Great Britain, Japan, Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the U.S. The men’s side will include Brazil, Canada, Czech Republic, Great Britain, Japan, Norway, South Korea, Sweden, and Switzerland. The U.S., Norway (men), and Sweden (women) are set to defend the gold medals they earned in the 2019 World University Games that took place in Russia.
The Civic Center will also continue to be an athletic and recreational hub. The Saranac Lake Pee Wee Hockey Association and local high school and collegiate hockey teams will continue to call this center home. It will also continue to host public skating and CAN-AM hockey tournaments. With the addition of the lobby, air conditioning, and insulation, the Civic Center will now be a viable venue to host trade, boat, and car shows and serve as a meeting space for those that may need it.
Stick Around Awhile
Whether you just finished watching the World University Games' curling matches, you're getting done with a hockey practice or a game, or you've had your fill of free skating, there's so much to do in Saranac Lake! There's plenty of places to stay that are nearby the Civic Center. There's incredible places to eat that will not disappoint. And of course, there's plenty to do inside or outdoors that will keep you entertained. Saranac Lake is so much more than "just ice" too!