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Saranac Lake Civic Center

The Full Story

Construction of the Civic Center began in the 1970s by Saranac Lake residents involved in the Pee Wee Hockey Association, with the goal of covering an existing natural ice rink. Eventually a macadam floor was installed to help combat weather challenges.

In 1984, the Saranac Lake Ice Center, Inc. leased the space from the Saranac Lake Pee Wee Hockey Association and installed plastic matting, refrigeration and artificial ice. Five years later, in 1989, the Saranac Lake Civic Center, Inc. (a not-for-profit 501C3) was created to take over the lease of the arena, absorb the remainder of the debt that encumbered the Saranac Lake Ice Center, Inc. and to operate the facility. With the help of municipalities whose residents used the facility and contributions from generous supporters, the ice rink set down a path to being more sustainable while also remaining affordable to those using the space.

The result of these changes were very rewarding. In the 1999-2000 season, over 34,000 user hours were logged on the ice. From tiny figure skaters and hockey players, through high school athletes and adults, the Civic Center was being used many hours every week during the winter months. In the summer months, the venue hosts a wide range of events that make meaningful contributions to the local activity and economy.

Are we part of your memory book? 

We are creating a historical timeline and would love to see your photos and hear your story. Get in touch so we can include your memories.

Thanks for sharing your story. If you have photos to share, please email us at
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