The Haymarket Iceplex is planning a major expansion and renovation this year to help meet the increasing demands for ice time for hockey teams and skating classes.
The project will include expansion of the building and the installation of a second rink in the area that serves as the back parking lot, Iceplex General Manager Ron Evans said. The Iceplex also plans to upgrade the lobby, locker rooms and other facilities in the building, which formerly housed a building materials store.
“Right now, we’re an old warehouse with an ice rink in it,” Evans said. “We have a very small, old office where you walk in. We’re going to put in a formal lobby where people can come in and sit down and have heat. . . . We’re going to put in additional locker rooms for hockey teams [and] additional bathroom facilities.”
Leo Mullin, director of house hockey for the Piedmont Hockey Club, described the facility as “rudimentary in its construction and amenities.” The Iceplex is showing the effects of several years of constant hard use, he said in an e-mail.
Evans said that a second ice rink is needed because the existing rink is fully scheduled.
“We’re basically at capacity right now with one ice sheet,” Evans said. “Every hour of ice [time] is inventory for us, and we don’t have any inventory to fill.” Nearby ice skating facilities in Dale City, Reston and Ashburn have two ice rinks, he said.
The Iceplex hosts “Learn to Skate” and “Learn to Play Hockey” classes, Evans said, as well as informal “Stick and Shoot” sessions for hockey players, freestyle sessions for figure skaters, public skating times and an adult hockey league. It is also home to the Piedmont Hockey Club, which has about 350 members ages four through 17 and includes house and travel teams.
Mullin said that the popularity of ice hockey in Northern Virginia has increased exponentially in recent years, which has led to scheduling difficulties for the Iceplex. The club has had to limit the number of teams because there isn’t enough ice time to accommodate its growth, he said.
“This season, for the first time, we were forced to turn away applications for house hockey,” Mullin said.
The expansion will allow the rink to accommodate the demand for ice time not only for hockey players but also for classes, figure skating and public skating sessions, he said.
The Haymarket building got its start as an ice skating facility in February 2010, after a heavy snowfall caused the roof of the Prince William Ice Center in Dale City to collapse, Evans said.
The Prince William Hockey Club built the rink in the old 84 Lumber building, intending it to be a temporary facility.
“It was just a shell of a building,” Evans said. To install the rink, the contractor had to remove old lumber racks and take out a cinder block wall that ran through the center of the building, Evans said.
Eventually, the Prince William Ice Center rebuilt its facility and the club returned to Dale City. Evans was hired in 2011 to manage the Haymarket facility, which was renamed the Iceplex.
Evans said that he is working with the Town of Haymarket and Prince William County to get the necessary approvals for the project. He hopes to be able to start construction in the spring and said he expects it to take about eight months.