RYE, N.Y. - A new initiative by the New York Rangers and Chase Bank will help repair damage at the Rye Playland Ice Casino caused by Hurricane Sandy so it can reopen May 11.
The program, New York Rangers Assist, will help to repair the rink’s roof and other areas damaged during the storm so youth hockey players can return to the ice. The facility will also receive a new refrigeration system.
The board is thankful for their generosity, said county legislator Judy Myers, chair of the board’s Budget and Appropriations Committee.
“It is incredible and welcome news that the New York Rangers and Chase have chosen to create a new community-based program and one of its first beneficiaries will be Westchester County,” Myers said in statement.
“When Hurricane Sandy blew in, Playland received probably the hardest hit in the county, and crippling damage was done to the Ice Casino,” she said.
“With local youth hockey programs scrambling to find ice time, the Rangers and Chase initiative will help repair the Ice Casino and hasten its reopening, which will certainly gladden the hearts of local hockey enthusiasts and ice skaters.”
The Westchester County Board of Legislators approved a $12.5 million repair plan Jan. 29 to fix the roof structure on the ice casino and repair the boardwalk near the facility’s beach and shoreline.
The first bond act, totaling $4,925 million, will fund the cost of the design and construction of the roof structure, boilers and other structural work at the Playland Ice Casino.
The Ice Casino remains closed after sustaining extensive damage during the hurricane. During the storm, high winds blew off two doors that face Long Island Sound, and a 15-foot storm surge flooded the basement and damaged the boilers.
Major repairs are needed on the roof structure, which was found to have significant cracking during a February 2012 inspection, according to the county's Department of Parks, Recreation and Conservation.
The second bond act, totaling $7.575 million, will go toward repairing the boardwalk at Playland.
The boardwalk also remains closed in its off-season because parts of the structure heaved, buckled or were completely washed away during the storm.
“On behalf of the Board of Legislators, I thank the New York Rangers and Chase for their generosity, which will end up becoming a substantial gift to the county. We will have to iron out details with insurance companies and FEMA, but happily do so knowing that our work together is a positive step toward a stronger future for Playland and the Ice Casino,” Myers said.
The New York Rangers and Chase are also helping to repair damage at the Long Beach Ice Arena on Long Island.