Letters to the Editor

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SPRINKER: Skating history repeats itself

Letter by Loren Zimmerman, Tacoma on June 21, 2010 at 10:56 am | 1 Comment »
June 24, 2010 9:17 am

In 1939, the Lakewood Winter Club (LWC) was formed as a member club of the United States Figure Skating Association. It opened its doors for figure skating, hockey and public skating in the Lakewood Ice Arena on the shores of Lake Steilacoom.

It flourished for almost 40 years until unexpectedly, the roof fell in and the building was eventually condemned. Where would the skating programs go? It’s often said, “When God slams the door shut, he opens a window somewhere.” Well, there was a window open. The newly constructed Sprinker Recreation Center had an Olympic-size and state-of-the-art ice rink. It was a match made in heaven.

A wonderful skating program soon was in place in the new county facility. It flourished for another 30 years. National and Olympic champions trained at Sprinker. It was the main practice site for the 1987 National Figure Skating Championships held in the Tacoma Dome. The LWC was the organizing committee of that prestigious event.

Now, unbelievably, a roof has failed again. The door has been “slammed shut” again. Sadly, it appears that county government has slammed the windows shut too. In fact, it looks like they have nailed them shut.

Where is our window now? Who or what will save this storied organization? Where will the 100,000-plus “skating users a year” train and enjoy healthy family fun? Maybe they will add to the annual 77 percent Pierce County budget need for jails, courts and lawyers??

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