Top Stories 2022: Domed ice rink planned for Veterans Memorial Park

An inflatable bubble dome for ice skating is coming to Veterans Memorial Park in Calverton.

In October, the Riverhead Town Board authorized an agreement with the Peconic Hockey Foundation, a Wading-River based organization that plans to donate the rink to the town in exchange for the right to operate the facility on the town-owned property.

The domed rink will be located just east of the town’s parking lot at Enterprise Park at Calverton near the Isaac Dog Park and will be used for hockey and other sports like ice skating and curling, officials said.

The organization has been seeking to bring ice hockey to the East End since 2015.

Earlier this year, the organization sought to locate the rink at Stotzky Park, but the plan shifted back to EPCAL after resident feedback that the rink would disrupt actively-used soccer fields at Stotzky Park.

The plan was supported by town recreation officials, who pointed out the nearest rink is located in Hauppauge. The organization is also donating a second rink that can be used for practice and deck hockey in the warmer months.

RiverheadLocal recently reported that the agreement is currently under review to ensure it complies with state parkland rules.

Skating rinks aren’t the only proposal to bring more recreation to the Calverton park. 

In late October, the Town Board heard a proposal by Peter Bellard of Setauket who wants to bring two FIFA-sized grass soccer fields and three indoor turf fields to the facility. He said he plans to fully fund the operation and would not be seeking assistance from the town, other than for the land.

The outdoor fields could be ready as early as this summer and the indoor training facilities by the start of the next school year, Mr. Bellard said. Riverhead Town residents could have a set time to use the indoor fields for free, he said.

Though no formal agreement was approved, Supervisor Yvette Aguiar said the town attorney’s office is working with the recreation department on a draft that will be presented to the Town Board for consideration.