A Kootenai County nonprofit ice arena that has been rebuilding since a 2008 roof collapse received a major boost Thursday when Frontier Communications announced a seven-year, $175,000 contribution.
As a result, the Kootenai Youth Recreation Organization (KYRO) ice arena on West Seltice Way in Coeur d’Alene will be renamed Frontier Ice Arena. The Fortune 500 company provides widespread communication services in rural America and also purchased much of Verizon’s landline operations in 2009.
Following the December 2008 roof collapse, KYRO received a $2 million insurance settlement and launched an effort to rebuild a much-expanded ice arena. The organization has raised about $400,000 but still needs another $400,000 to complete the entire arena. About $135,000 is needed to complete enough of the arena to open for this winter’s hockey season, said Vince Hughes, KYRO president.
Leagues began enrolling players about two weeks ago and practices are due to start next month, said Matt Beam, KYRO manager. League play begins in November, he said.
Beam said the Frontier donation will help enormously with credibility. He said he hopes it encourages other corporate sponsors to step forward to help close the remaining fundraising gap.
While KYRO has been rebuilding, other regional rinks have tried to help provide ice time to the leagues that use the Coeur d’Alene arena. Those included the Eagles Ice-A-Rena in Spokane and rinks at Eastern Washington University and Riverfront Park. KYRO welcomes about 2,000 skaters and spectators weekly.