Grover Ice Rink back to normal after last week’s ceiling collapse

Part of the ceiling collapsed due to a burst pipe in the sprinkler system.
An Omaha ice rink is back to business as usual after a portion of the ceiling collapsed last week.
Published: Feb. 6, 2023 at 3:47 PM CST
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - The scene last Monday night -- water everywhere at the Grover Ice Rink near 61st and Grover.

The ceiling buckled after a pipe connected to the sprinkler system burst while a group of 5 and 6-year-olds was practicing. Fortunately, no one was underneath.

Hundreds of gallons went gushing through the ceiling onto the ice. Workers at the ice rink grabbed squeegees and tried to contain the mess so it didn’t further damage the rink itself.

Now, it’s looking markedly better. Crews finished putting new panels in place. I put my skates on and was able to get a closer look. You can’t really tell where the roof caved in -- just that a few panels appear to be newer.

There is some dark spots and discoloration on the ice, but that’s not affecting skating or hockey practice.

“Our number one priority was to get repairs complete so we could get all of our customers and hockey teams, learn to skate program, all the skaters on the ice so they don’t miss out on any of their activities,” said general manager Evan Schinasi. “That was absolutely our first priority.”

The quick fix is welcome news for Matt Smith. He runs a hockey development program. Smith and many of his instructors use the Grover rink daily. Since the rink was out of commission on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday of last week, his business was pretty much at a standstill. He’s glad workers repaired the damage quickly.

“It’s unbelievable they turned this thing around in three days. It’s pretty inevitable that everybody was going through withdrawal not being able to have stick and puck. 15 minutes since it started and it’s already full.”

The manager didn’t have a dollar figure for the damage amount -- but the good news is none of the children were on the ice when the roof collapsed. No one was hurt.