Community comes together to help with ice arena renovations

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STEVENS POINT, Wis. (WSAW) -- "To be the first undefeated team to win it at home and do it in front of the students, I thought they were going to break the glass. Thank goodness we are going to replace the glass," explained Brad Duckworth, Athletic Director at UW-Stevens Point.

Fresh off a NCAA Division III Men's Ice Hockey Championship, the UW-Stevens Point Pointers home ice is getting a much need makeover.

"A brand a new compressor which chills and freezes the ice, the boards will be new, the glass will be new and the press box will be new," said Duckworth.

Thanks to a local non-profit, all the old materials will not go to waste. "The city is saving time and labor by having us do the work of taking the plastic off the boards. We get plastic which we need to make new products and we are really saving waste. This is direct recycling," said Greg Wright, Executive Director at Create Portage County.

The old plastic will be put to use through Create Portage County's 3-D printer. "We will make benches, we will make art, we will make over-sized game pieces. It will also be used by businesses who are making prototypes," said Wright.

It's a win-win for the community. "The exciting things about this project is having people outside the community understand what we are doing and to reach out to us to say we can be helpful to them and they can be helpful to us," said Wright.

The arena will carry on its traditions for years to come. "Willet is historic and having six national championships teams play and a few runner ups, what it has meant to Pointer Hockey is significant," said Duckworth.

The renovations will be complete just in time for next hockey season.

If you would like to help, Create Portage County is still looking for volunteers to help remove the plastic. Email them at gregw@createportagecounty.org