We, like most of you, have seen the Dominion Post article today, as well as the subsequent Facebook posts about BOPARC’s current decision with their renovation project, to close the ice rink at the end of the 2022/2023 season, and not reopen until August 2024. First and foremost, we want to make sure you are all aware that this is the first time as a Board we are hearing about this being the final decision and are disappointed with the lack of communication that would have allowed us to prepare the information and send out to our membership in a more organized and actionable format.
A meeting was held on Thursday, December 29, with BOPARC, Mayor Jennifer Selin and City Council Member Danielle Trumble, as well as representatives from some of the main user groups (MHA, WVU Hockey, etc.) That is the first time that it was communicated to us that there was a chance that they would change their construction plans to include shutting down the rink for a full year. In fact, the discussion revolved around possible ways to not have that happen and they even allowed input as to possible logistical alternatives. Additionally, the notes that they sent out did not indicate that this decision was final. However, it has become apparent from their comments made to the Dominion Post, that this is their final decision. After Thursday’s meeting and meeting notes were sent out on Friday, the Board had agreed to start working on our action plan for all possibilities, which also included making sure we kept our membership informed as to what we knew, what we were working on, and things that our community could do to help. Again, that plan was based on believing that the meeting was done to let us know “potential” decisions that could be discussed and worked on, not that they were final with this decision. We are very saddened and frankly, upset, at their failure to be forthright and honest with their intentions but instead chose to mislead us during that meeting!
This decision by BOPARC, including Mayor Seline and Council member Trumble, is a major issue that affects all of us. We as a Board, and parents of players ourselves, are fully aware what losing a season of ice will do to our programs and the impact it will have on all of our kids. We are working with the other user groups and members of the community to come up with solutions that will prevent us from losing a season of ice in Morgantown. Our goal is to follow up on any reasonable plan that we can to prevent that from happening and be transparent and work with all of you along the way to come up with solutions. Our next Board Meeting is scheduled for this Sunday, January 8th at 6:30pm. As always, we welcome all members to attend our Board meetings to express your opinions and ideas to help work on this situation. We are working on making this an in person meeting and getting a location large enough that we can have as many attend who want to. We will send out a communication regarding those details in the next day or two.
We will continue to communicate with all of you as things progress and we are provided more information. We will be setting up a section on our website with updates as to what we know, what action items are in place, ways that members can help, and any other pertinent information related to this. You are always welcome to reach out to any of the board members by contacting us via email (email addresses are located on our website (https://www.morgantownhockey.com/executiveboard). You can also send emails to all of us at once at Board@MorgantownHockey.com.
Morgantown Hockey Association Executive Board
Frank Oliverio, President
Mitch Lohiser, Vice President
Sherry White, Treasurer
Allison Cihla, Secretary
Sheila Hunt, Registrar
Kim Walker, Safesport Coordinator
Kristen Dieffenbach, Coaching Director
Jack Post, Referee Director
Lindsay Hammond, Mini Mite Director
Fritz Lietenberger, Mite Director
Eric Shor, Squirt Director
Joe Perella, PeeWee Director and Ice Scheduler
Hillarey Young, Bantam Director
Jim Calain, Midget Director
Cory Kourtsis, High School Director
Ryan Wilson, Girls Director