The Palouse Ice Rink was originally built as a temporary structure in 2001 to test whether this region had enough demand for ice related activities to be financially viable. We have successfully operated for 16 seasons, have seen significant growth in our youth programs, attracted thousands of patrons, and created the highly successful Science on Ice program.
Unfortunately, the temporary design has limited our ability to serve our more than 35,000 patrons annually, which includes children, college students, adults, and families. Our structure’s exterior is a canvas shell that lacks the ability to reduce noise and provide insulation from warmer weather. Hours of operation and the length of the season are both negatively impacted because of this.
Furthermore the ¾-sized ice surface limits the number of people able to participate in our largely successful pubic skating sessions and Science on Ice program. Hockey players by the age of 13 must play games on a full-sized rink, either in Coeur d’Alene or Cheney. Figure skaters are not able to practice or perform beyond a beginner level at our undersized rink, and are forced to travel elsewhere. The current facility has a single portable toilet as the only available restroom for patrons to use.
Despite the shortcomings of the current rink, we have a strong user base. We received a commitment in August 2016 from the City of Moscow pledging $1 million from the Hamilton Fund to be used for the completion of a full-sized enclosed ice rink facility. The pledge is set to expire in July 2019, as is the Special Use Permit that allows our facility to operate because of the temporary nature of the original design. The Palouse Ice Rink is in need of donors to help raise the capital needed to complete this project before we reach the July 2019 deadline.
The most recent cost estimate for the basic structure and cooling system was $4 million. We have hired an area architecture firm to complete the design development plans for the new rink to get better costing estimates. As a privately funded operation our project is not required to pay prevailing wages and we will work with area contractors on in-kind donations whenever possible. We acquired the Spokane Arena dasher boards in 2015 and used lighting fixtures from a Portland ice rink in 2017 to help reduce our project cost. However, it will take significant funding in order for the new rink to be completed.
The PIR presented a request to the Moscow City Council in August 2016 that $1 million of the Hamilton Fund be made available for a new ice rink. The council responded by unanimously passing a resolution to commit the funds. This was a huge win for our efforts, but a lot of work still remains.
Total funding needed: $5,000,000
Committed Hamilton fund $1,000,000
Committed private donations $ 400,000
Expected private foundation/grants $1,200,000
Expected facility naming donation $1,500,000
Additional naming opportunities $ 500,000
Additional local individual and business donations $ 500,000
Robert Hamilton’s generosity has resulted in the completion of many large capital projects that offer children in the local community better recreational resources. Most likely, many of these would not have been built without his help. PIR is looking for more people like Mr. Hamilton who can donate toward funds needed for this project.