The Crown Point community stormed the ice at the brand new Bulldog Park on Saturday after Mayor David Uran cut the ribbon on the highly anticipated project. The brand-new, roughly $11 million facility is open for the rest of the winter, letting families step on the ice for tons of holiday fun.
The NHL-sized ice rink is just one component of the two-acre event center that is set to include a community center, splash pads, and an amphitheater and band shell that will let 1,500 people view concerts and other performances. Those facilities are still under construction, but Mayor Uran wanted to let people have a chance to enjoy the ice before Christmas, and Hasse Construction put in the work to get it done.
“We looked at the construction schedule and knew it was going to be very aggressive, but everybody pitched in and made a team effort to get it open tonight,” Mayor Uran said. “If you’d driven by in the past couple days you wouldn’t have thought we’d make it, but everybody worked together and accommodated each other’s craft, and here we are tonight!”
The park is financed mainly through a large donation from the Dean and Barbara White Foundation and property taxes from businesses, with nothing coming from residential properties. The mayor said that once everything is finished, the park will add a whole new dimension to recreation in the city.
“This is going to transform Crown Point for the next 20 or 30 years down the road,” Uran said. “It’ll shape how we do festivals and family gatherings. It’s going to showcase our community of 30,000 people where the philosophy is ‘building a stronger community from within.’ This puts that on the forefront for everybody; whether you’re sports-minded or a fan of the performing arts, this park has it all.”
Much of the staff on opening night were members of the Crown Point High School Bulldogs Hockey team. They helped people on and off the ice, and were excited to see the massive crowd that filled the rink and stretched around the entire block.
“I’m super happy to see this open, I think the Square really needed something like this,” said Alex Dinatale, one of the Bulldogs. “It’s also great that Crown Point finally has a rink. I’m just excited to see all the people ready to skate here.”
During the ribbon cutting ceremony, Uran revealed that Franciscan Health secured naming rights to the facility thanks to a generous sponsorship contribution. Franciscan Health Crown Point CEO Dan McCormick, M.D., took the chance to talk about his admiration for the project.
“I just want to take the opportunity to thank the mayor and his team for this beautiful facility, but most importantly, to congratulate the City of Crown Point,” he said. “You all have an absolutely fantastic facility that I haven’t seen anywhere in any suburb that I’ve ever been in.”
For those eager to see Bulldog Park, there is a small admission fee of $3 to get on the ice and another $3 to rent a pair of skates, though anyone is free to bring their own. Here are the park’s hours during Christmas break:
6-10 p.m. Saturday 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday Noon-5 p.m. Monday Closed Christmas Day 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Wednesday Noon-8 p.m. Dec. 31 11 a.m.-10 p.m. New Year's Day 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Jan. 6
For more information about the City of Crown Point and upcoming events, please visit www.crownpoint.in.gov.