WESTBROOK – They may not have scored any goals, but volunteers with St.Germain Collins registered a big assist to the city of Westbrook when they offered to clean up the outdoor ice rink on Lincoln Street recently.

St.Germain Collins, an environmental consulting firm with offices on Main Street in Westbrook, annually conducts a volunteering or team-building exercise, said Scott Collins, company vice president. Some within the company happen to enjoy Friday ice hockey matches at the Cornelia Warren Four Season rink on Lincoln Street during the winter months, so this year they decided to revitalize the aging outdoor rink.

“I had suggested to the office this would be a good team building/community service effort,” said Collins. “(Playing hockey here) is something we’ve been doing for a while. It’s great for morale.”

“It was a win-win. We’re going to have a better place to play,” added company president Mark St.Germain.

The rink was in desperate need of some care. Flecks of white paint chips dotted the grass all around its perimeter. Vandals had marked its walls with graffiti in places, including one area that had “dream” scrawled across it in large letters.

Now, the condition of the rink is, well, a dream come true for city officials.

“It’s fabulous what these folks are doing,” said Andrew McBrady, city aquatics director. “This rink houses a lot of kids who want to learn and play hockey.”

According to McBrady, many residents think of the site as an ice rink, but it is actually a four-season rink. He said people play roller hockey there, and an outdoor pickup soccer league used it during the summer.

The fresh coat of paint for the rink’s walls is just the latest step in renovating the site, which was originally built on the donations of the Cornelia Warren Community Association for the benefit of the city, McBrady said.

A new storage shed stands on the property now as well, thanks to the efforts of students at the Westbrook Regional Vocational Center, he said.

This week, the city accepted a $750,000 donation from the association to assist with the $4 million renovation of the former Wescott Junior High School building. The building is being transformed into a new community center containing an indoor pool.

Repairs to the building’s roof are ongoing right now, resulting in the pool closure and leaving the aquatic director “a man without a pool,” McBrady said.

Given the pool’s closure, McBrady said, he offered to focus on the rink’s renovation.

The dozen or so volunteers at the rink on Oct. 14 utilized rollers, paintbrushes and hammers to improve the aesthetics of the rink.

“It’s actually going to help the rink last longer,” McBrady said.

For a company that specializes in civil engineering, site permitting and compliance and environmental regulations, the work at the rink was quite different.

“We get to work together in a way we typically don’t,” said St.Germain.

Since arriving in Westbrook in 2003, the company has done various community service projects throughout the Portland area. Collins said they have worked with Habitat for Humanity, Maine Audubon and an area soup kitchen, but this year’s effort stayed closer to home.

“The city was very excited to hear we had decided to do this,” he said. “These outdoor rinks are rare. The fact the city maintains this is incredible.”

Keith Taylor, an employee with St. Germain Collins Environmental Consulting Group, adds a fresh coat of paint to the walls of the Cornelia Warren Four Season Rink on Lincoln Street in Westbrook.
Staff photo by Joey Cresta


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