Reporting Rick Dayton
HAZELWOOD (KDKA) – Things are hopping in Hazelwood as a dek hockey court is shaping up at the Lewis Playground.
There may be no NHL hockey season thus far, and that means this December morning was perfect for the busy workers.
“We’ve been really lucky,” says Jaime Greenwald.
She is one of about a dozen volunteers from the Penguins Foundation who are hard at work on building the new court.
“We didn’t know what to expect in December,” she said. “We could have been out here in snow, so we couldn’t ask for a better day.”
The court at Lewis Playground sits right beside the Hazelwood YMCA. It is the second of four dek hockey courts to be built in Pittsburgh. Eight others will be built around the county and surrounding areas.
The dek is made by a company called Mylek, out of Massachusetts, and is actually sheets of plastic that snap together.
Rick DeFazio is here from Massachusetts to oversee the installation.
“It shrinks in the cold a little bit and when it heats up it expands so it gives you a little bit of movement which is good,” DeFazio said. “If it is not plastic, it will stay solid and it will break and crack.”
In addition to the volunteers from the Penguins Foundation are members of the Penguins organization, including Assistant Coach Tony Granato.
“Hockey is a great game. I have been involved in it since I was 3-years-old when I was beating a stick around my parents basement,” Granato said. “Now, to be able to have little kids come out here and do this outside is exciting.”
The Lewis Playground facility will be lit. It is complete with players benches and a penalty box. It can also be used for soccer and lacrosse.
Dave Soltesz, President of the Penguins Foundation explains, “There is a fence going around it. There is a roof going over the deking there. They will feel like they are in big time hockey playing on this type of court.”
Highmark is partnering with the Penguins Foundation to build a dozen courts in southwestern Pennsylvania.