Glenville

Improvements in store for Schenectady County ice rink

Facilities Operation Manager Kyle Spiak speaks of new speakers that will be installed in the center of the rink at Schenectady County Recreational Facility in Glenville
PHOTOGRAPHER:
Facilities Operation Manager Kyle Spiak speaks of new speakers that will be installed in the center of the rink at Schenectady County Recreational Facility in Glenville

GLENVILLE — Changes are in store for the Schenectady County Recreational Facility Ice Rink, including new rental skates, a new speaker system and a skate sharpener, among others.

It’s in part thanks to Kyle Spiak, who became SCRF’s facilities operation manager in November. Over the last 15 years, he’s worked at ice rinks around the greater Capital Region, garnering the nickname “Zambonikid” along the way. Since stepping into the leadership role, he’s brought some of the lessons he learned from other rinks and aims to revamp SCRF, working with Schenectady County and Schenectady Youth Hockey Association to do so.

“When I came here, there wasn’t a lot here,” Spiak said.

According to Spiak, the rental skates hadn’t been replaced in more than a decade, the facility was lacking crucial tools and the scheduling system needed improvement.

Spiak said he reached out to Schenectady County’s Jennifer Nelson, the director of systems integration and procurement, for help, as well as Greg Marcincuk, board president of Schenectady Youth Hockey, along with a few people. Everyone stepped up to the plate.

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The County secured 157 pairs of new rental skates as well as software for scheduling and billing and a point of sale system which will accept credit card payments — a first for the rink.

A new speaker system, which is slated to arrive this week, was bought by the hockey association, as was a new Blackstone skate sharpener. The latter arrived last week and is up and running for community members at $7 a sharpening.

“It’s all coming together,” Spiak said.

In the coming weeks, the facility will also receive machines for cleaning the bleachers and the floors.

“I want the cleanest facility and the best sheet of ice and if I have those two customers will come back,” Spiak said.

He’s already seeing more and more community members come in during public skating hours.

“The place was just packed during public skating . . . [it] was a was incredible. I had no more skates to rent out around just an hour ago. They were all out rented and it wasn’t like that when I came,” Spiak said.

The small crew of employees at SCRF is to thank for that as well.

“I couldn’t ask for better people than what I have right now at my facility. We all work as a team,” Spiak said.

Beyond keeping things at SCRF running smoothly, Spiak wants to help the community through fundraisers and other events. In collaboration with the American Cancer Society’s Real Men Wear Pink, Spiak is planning to hold a hockey tournament called Hockey Fights Breast Cancer, which is scheduled for Sept. 30 through Oct. 2.

“There’s just there’s a lot that can come out of this and I foresee that I want to be here the rest of my career, and this is where I want to end,” Spiak said.

“I just want to thank the county for helping me and then also the Schenectady Youth Hockey Association as well for helping me.”

There are public skating slots scheduled seven days a week. There’s also open figure skating and open hockey. For a look at the schedule, visit schenectadyyouthhockey.com/scrf.

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