By Joan F. Simoneau, Community Reporter
Marlborough – The New England Sports Center, currently operating with six ice rinks at 121 Donald Lynch Boulevard in Marlborough, may soon add two new ice rinks if the City Council approves a request for a special permit introduced at the April 4 council meeting. The New England Sports Management (NESM) Corporation , presently operating the center, would like to add the seventh and eighth rinks on the west side of the building, alongside Rink 5.
The expansion would maintain the aesthetic appearance of the present building and require minimum modifications to the building and the site, NESM stated in the application. In June 2013, NESM acquired the abutting 23 acres of land to the west of the site and will utilize a portion of that land for the rink expansion and parking. Company representatives prepared a revised parking and traffic study impact report for councilors to review. Included with the request are plans to add restaurants and indoor athletic activities.
NESM also requests that the special permit issued in 1994 be amended to include that alcoholic beverages may be served in areas where food is prepared and served to the public in accordance with the city Licensing Board.
The Sports Center has locker rooms, a hockey pro shop, a full-service restaurant, a snack bar, a heated ice-viewing area, team rooms, private function rooms, and a variety of arcade games. The popular sports center has hosted many major national and international competitions, including Olympic practicing sessions.
The requests were referred to the Urban Affairs Committee for study. A public hearing was scheduled for the Monday, April 25, council meeting.
In other business, councilors scheduled another public hearing to be held Tuesday, April 26, to continue discussing a request for an amended special permit for Firefly’s restaurant at 250 E. Main St. Several abutters to the restaurant were unable to attend the April 4 meeting due to stormy weather, therefore their request to continue discussion at a future meeting was granted by Mayor Arthur Vigeant and City Council.