Progress continues on renovations at the Lancerlot Sports Complex in Vinton with a tentative opening date set for around Labor Day. Plans were unveiled for the extensive renovations to the facility in December 2017 when Penalty Box Partners LLC purchased the health, fitness, and aquatics facility.
Construction is proceeding on the gymnasium side of the facility, which formerly housed basketball and tennis courts, a track, a child care center, and the cycling center. That space is being turned into an ice rink for hockey and skating. Efforts have been under way for several years to bring a “second sheet of ice” to the Roanoke region, involving local hockey and ice sport enthusiasts. The Lancerlot has a rich history and connection to ice hockey through its original owner, Henry Brabham.
A crew is laying cinder blocks in the former gym area– the future ice rink– around the outside wall on the player side (the far side away from the parking lot) for locker rooms.
Preparations are almost complete to knock out the side wall of the gymnasium area to connect to an adjacent building to extend the ice rink, house the ice resurfacing machine (to be purchased very soon and named), with office space on the top floor.
The public side (nearest to the parking lot) will include space for concessions, a pro shop, restrooms, party rooms, and a skate rental area.
The concrete flooring in the gym area has been removed and dug out for installation of the chiller cooling system to turn the floor into a layer of ice for hockey practice, competition, and public skating. The rink, when complete, will measure approximately 200 feet in length by 85 feet in width with an air temperature of around 54-58 degrees.
Almost every part of the Lancerlot facility has been renovated, or at least spruced up.
Improvements are still under way in the fitness and aquatic areas. The front desk is soon to be removed from the foyer to make more space at the main entrance for hockey players and spectators along with health and fitness members, with a reception area on the health and fitness side of the facility.
Bathrooms are being renovated on the fitness/pool wing of the building as well. Virtually the entire facility has been repainted in a dynamic red, black, and gray color scheme.
General Manager Joe Miller said the facility anticipates extending the gym and ice rink hours once renovations are complete, with details coming this summer.
Membership rates will change to include different types of memberships. The Lancerlot may then be the only sports facility in the valley to offer health and fitness, aquatics, and skating as part of a membership package. A new logo has been developed as part of a rebranding effort, emphasizing those three aspects of the future Lancerlot. As for now, special membership rates continue through August 31.
The new Penalty Box Partners owners contracted with Roanoke-based firms Balzer and Associates and Lionberger Construction for the design and construction of the $2 million investment which will restore a full sheet of ice to one side of the facility and a second sheet of ice in the region, in addition to the one at the Berglund Center.
Plans are for the Lancerlot facility to provide an additional practice location for Roanoke’s professional hockey team, the Rail Yard Dawgs, as well as serve as a primary practice and game location for several local collegiate club hockey teams.
The renovated facility will also offer the region the ability to host hockey tournaments and skating competitions, and reestablish a base of operations for the Valley Youth Hockey Association as well as the RVAHA and the RNCHL adult hockey associations. The new ice rink will also provide additional opportunities for adult recreational hockey, public ice skating and recreational figure skating.