Friday, September 11, 2009

The Miracle on Bearse's Way....

Not an “underground” secret for long! - by Susan

This cat is out of the bag: The brand new $25 million dollar Hyannis Community Center was unveiled to the press just over a week ago. This multi-use Center is the replacement for the old Kennedy Ice Rink at Bassett Lane and Bearse's Way in Hyannis. Curious to see where my money went, I decided to stop by.

Over the years I have spent a lot of time at the old Kennedy rink. My daughter and I took skating lessons and we’d often go for “open skating”. I’d drop the girls off for the Rinks Rock Nights and we’ve seen a number of Barnstable High’s hockey games there over the years. After touring this new multi-use 105,000 square-foot facility and seeing it in action, all I can say is WOW.

On the first floor is a bright game room with a large TV, and a number of game tables for pool, air hockey, foosball, and ping pong. Also on this level is a computer room with 8 stations, a community room, administration offices, and a police sub-station.

Next to the games room is the 12,000 square-foot gymnasium with a regulation NBA basketball court.. It has gleaming hardwood floors and is open, airy, and bright. Our town now has a NBA regulation basketball court with 4 baskets to dribble and dunk on. The court can be divided into several smaller courts for volleyball and other activities.

I went back for a return visit the other day and the game room was full of kids having fun. There were 2 employees in the room, keeping an eye on things, which should make any parent/taxpayer feel good. I also noticed that the court was being used in what appeared to be a pick-up basketball game.

Above the basketball court is an indoor walking track that has 3 lanes and is open early and closes late - perfect for getting exercise when it’s cold, snowy, or icy (seems like 9 months of the year!).

Next stop: twin ice rinks! A double-WOW! We now have two NHL regulation sized ice rinks: The Lt. Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. Rink, with seating for 1,500 people; and The Patrick M. Butler Rink, with seating for 250 people. Both rinks include special flooring so they can be used for dry events such as the annual Home Show.

From the main floor, you can enter the bleacher seating and balcony viewing area for the twin ice rinks. I didn’t see it, but I also understand there is a luxury skybox which can be rented at a reasonable price for games and other events.

There is also a pro shop and a full-service café on this floor. Ardeo’s Restaurant won the right to operate it, so I expect they’ll serve up some good food.

The old Kennedy Rink had a cozy log fireplace which was a great place to warm up and meet the other parents. So, during the community meetings held prior to building the Center, it became clear that the new warming room was a top priority. Also on this lower level are the 9 locker rooms, a concession stand, a first aid room and skate rentals.

The rinks will serve as home for Barnstable and Mashpee High Schools, Barnstable Youth Hockey League, and our new amateur Cape Cod Cubs, who are part of the International Junior Hockey League. The Cubs are a new addition in our town. The team comprises players from 15 to 20 years old and will play 25 home games, including 17 that will be played on Saturday nights.

The tickets for these games are a very reasonable $5. each and no charge for children under 12. The Cubs open their season on Sept. 26 following a celebrity game between members of the Boston Bruins alumni team (and other local dignitaries).

In keeping with the latest trend toward “green building” they are going to put a 10 Kw solar panel on the roof and they have the approval for a 15 Kw wind turbine (grant money is needed to complete that project).

You can join the Community Center for a mere $20 a year and fee will be waived for those unable to pay. September 25 and 26 is the grand opening. Friday is the dedication of the Center and Saturday is Family Fun Day, which includes a Touch-a-Truck event (for little kids to explore, touch, climb on and honk a variety of vehicles) and an outdoor BBQ. Don’t forget to bring your skates or basketball shoes so you can use our new community center!

This Community Center is something we can all be really proud of it’s a wonderful addition to our town!


  1. terrific article i can't wait to visit

  2. I want to live there, I mean work there!!

  3. I am amazed at this place. I am so proud of what the Cape has done in the 21 years I left to live in the Berkshires. I am SO happy to be back home now. Main Street in Hyannis has never looked better in my 54 years.
    I hope Dennis residents can join the center too.

  4. The HYCC welcomes everyone from all towns on and off the Cape! While residents enjoy a $10 ANNUAL membership fee to use the rec center, walking track, opne gym time and more, out of towners only pay $40 for an annual membership! WHAT A DEAL! And the best thing is, all the money goes back to the operation and programming at the center. See you there!


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