Is There Room for a Recreation Facility in Radnor?

Radnor Township will likely explore the possibility of a sports center that could include multiple ice rinks.

Radnor Township’s administration is proposing a feasibility study for an indoor recreation facility that may or may not include multiple ice rinks.

One of the possible partners in the project could be Comcast-Spectacor, the parent company of the Philadelphia Flyers, Wells Fargo Center, and Comcast SportsNet.

On Monday the Board of Commissioners discussed, but did not vote on, hiring someone to conduct a “Phase I” study at a cost of almost $50,000.

While no commissioner said they would vote against a recreation center, a few said they did not approve of Comcast-Spectacor conducting a study that would essentially lead the township to hire them to build and operate the facility, which could be a fifth “Flyers Skate Zone.”

The indoor sports complex generally includes two ice rinks, concrete based rink, indoor track, gymnasiums and a small fitness center. There are currently Flyers Skate Zones in New Jersey (Voorhees, Pennsauken and Atlantic City) and Northeast Philadelphia.

Some of the board members also said that the township should not be paying for the rec facility study.

Township manager Bob Zienkowski said that public/private partnerships like the one proposed are a “huge win” for the township, which gets amenities without having to run them.

The township currently leases the Sulpezio Gym from the Radnor Township School District, but that building costs $30,000 in annual utility expenses and will “never be an adequate recreation facility. The amenities just aren’t there,” Zienkowski said.

Board president Elaine Paul Schaefer said the square footage needed for such a center exacerbates the problem of where to locate it.

“This feasibility study needs to cover what were looking for, and I’m not sure if we decided what we are looking for,” she said.

Commissioner Don Curley added that he would like to see grass roots support for such a rec center from the community.

Catherine February 28, 2013 at 08:09 PM
Isn't the 21-acre Cappelli golf range on Iven Avenue -- in a residential area -- a spot being seriously considered behind closed doors? (Not) Coincidentally, that property was mentioned earlier in Monday's BOC meeting as one of the Radnor open spaces that is underused. These Flyers Skate Zones, if that's what Comcast has in mind, are public facilities with no apparent special benefit to residents. Neighbors in Vorhees, NJ attempted to sue to stop the project there, fearing excessive traffic, lighting, noise, loitering...
Anthony Wayne March 01, 2013 at 12:05 AM
Our good neighbors, Havertown and Broomall have these facilities already built. As they are fifteen minutes away it would seem excessive to build another here. Leave the grass and trees alone and keep the fifty grand in our pockets.
David Wood March 01, 2013 at 01:20 AM
Unless we can find a place in Radnor that could house an ice rink without taking away open space it is not a good idea. The Capelli Driving Range mentioned above was looked at in the 1970's as a possible site for a single rink and that was turned down. The type of facility being discussed is much bigger. There would be a huge traffic issue there. Discussion is also taking place at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Radnors-Environment-Matters-REM/206988896106059
"Township manager Bob Zienkowski said that public/private partnerships like the one proposed....." OK, so where is this proposal and what are the details? Looks like our government is hiding something from us. Not good.
Dan Webster March 01, 2013 at 11:57 AM
During the Monday night discussion of the recreation facility proposal (watch it at http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=qJ_6n5LD2SY#t=112s, thanks to John Haines), Bob Zienkowski introduced the idea with a slide presentation (available at http://www.radnor.com/egov/docs/1362067315_568115.pdf). The commisioners indicated that they wanted to get feedback from their constituents, so anyone wishing to share their perspective is encouraged to reach out to their commissioner (or all the commissioners). Email addresses are available on the Radnor website at http://www.radnor.com/commissioners/.
Metoxic March 01, 2013 at 12:05 PM
Where are the lights that were supposed to be part of the AIS-Memorial Field deal?
Radnorite March 01, 2013 at 01:50 PM
Let Villanova build this facility on its campus. I am sick of our greenspace being eaten up by urban sprawl.
J.R. March 01, 2013 at 10:05 PM
As long as the use of the facilities is adequate and of of minimal (or free) cost to township residents, this could be a very good deal for the township. This would be good use of the golf range that is used by so few residents. We need a top quality community center in Radnor and the funds are not in our budget. The benefits of of this are clearly worth losing a few more acres if little used green space.
Intheweeds March 02, 2013 at 05:04 PM
This has nothing to do with Villanova. And if Villanova did try to build it, you would then complain and fight it regardless.
Catherine March 02, 2013 at 06:26 PM
Let's not be fooled and allow ourselves to be sold a bill of goods. Comcast cares about ice. It's not in the business of building and running community rec centers, with the gym, pool, exercise and multiple-use space that people in Radnor seem to want. If this becomes a fifth Flyers Skate Zone, like the others, expect one or two rinks along with a restaurant, video game room, party rooms and a gear store. None of the four Skate Zones has any other recreational facilities for public use -- though you can attend a Home Show at one of them this weekend: the ice is being shut down for the event.
Radnorite March 03, 2013 at 04:39 AM
I want to wait and hear what Right Plan for Radnor has to say about this. Then I will decide.


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