FALMOUTH — Construction of a new locker room at Family Ice Center to serve the girls’ ice hockey team at Falmouth High School is underway.
Planning for the new facility began nearly two years ago, but a lag in fundraising and other complications kept the project from getting off the ground. Now the hope is to have the locker room ready by the end of the year.
Fundraising, however, is continuing. The total cost is projected to be about $250,000 and, as of earlier this fall, the project was still nearly $74,000 shy of its overall goal.
The ice center board is accepting donations to the locker room project at www.familyice.org/donateglrp. In addition, several businesses in town are also selling “Falmouth Girls Hockey Kicks Ice “ bumper stickers. The stickers are $20 each and are available at Ricetta’s, Leavitt & Sons and Rivalries.
“The next few months are critical in reaching the overall (fundraising) target so that we can finish the locker room off and start putting it to use this upcoming season,” Family Ice Center said in a recent press release. “To date we have received over 200 individual donations, 30 business donations, and eight anonymous donations.”
Godfrey Wood, president of the ice center board, said fundraising “will continue throughout the construction period until our goal is met. We are confident in reaching our goal, given the broad community support we have received thus far.”
Along with a full-size locker room, the new facility will also include a coach’s office and year-round storage space for all of Falmouth’s public school hockey teams.
“After serving as the exclusive home of Falmouth girls’ hockey this season, Family Ice Center will be able to utilize this space to support its (other) programming, which includes figure skating, speed skating, Opportunity Skate and hockey camps to name a few,” the ice center press release said.
The girls’ hockey team at Falmouth High School began practicing Nov. 5 and its first home game of the season will be against Cheverus High School on Nov. 27. Currently the girls’ hockey team uses the public locker room at the ice center.
Wood said “since the majority of the (construction) work is happening outside of the current facility, we’ll operate as we have previously (and) there will be minimal impact on rink operations.”
This project is needed, he said, “to provide girls’ hockey with the same amenities that boys’ hockey enjoys. This is one of the premier ice facilities in the country and we feel strongly that girls deserve the same treatment as boys.”
“When we built the Family Ice Center 19 years ago, there was no girls’ hockey program,” he added. “(But) we are thrilled that there is one now and that it’s growing.”
“With the growth and success of girls’ hockey in our community, it’s important to do our best to provide all of our Falmouth hockey players with the facilities they need to be successful,” the Falmouth Ice Hockey Association has said in promotional materials.
Wood called the ice center a community-based facility, saying, “we are so heartened to see how broad the support is, among families and businesses” in town for this project.
Members of the girls’ hockey team at Falmouth High School join in the recent groundbreaking for a new dedicated girls’ locker room at the Family Ice Center off Hat Trick Drive.