There are still 987 days left until the Winter Olympics in Beijing, and Pittsburgh’s curling community is going to make every one count.
On Friday, May 24, the Pittsburgh Curling Club broke ground on a new practice facility on McCoy Road in McKees Rocks.
America’s interest in the sport has climbed steadily over the last two decades, and was fueled by the U.S. gold medal-winning performance at the PyeongChang Games in 2018. Founded in 2003, the nonprofit Pittsburgh club has met the demand for the sport with a variety of competitions and events at borrowed rinks around the region.
Now, with the new facility, local curlers will be able to practice seven days a week at the Pittsburgh area’s first dedicated curling rink.
“In the City of Champions, it’s not surprising that ‘new’ sports like curling are also finding a fan base in Pittsburgh,” said County Executive Rich Fitzgerald. “This facility will be a great addition to Stowe Township, providing new opportunities for people interested in the sport. We look forward to seeing the completion of this new facility and the growth of curling here in our region.”
The 17,000-square-foot facility will include rinks, locker rooms and a viewing area. Construction is scheduled to wrap up this fall.
Kim O’Dell, a board member of the club and self-described mediocre curler, tells NEXTpittsburgh the project will cost $1.5 million, which has been raised through a combination of private donations, Learn to Curl events and a traditional mortgage.
In order to make the facility a financially viable institution going forward, O’Dell says the rink will also be available to rent for private events.
“We are thrilled to have found this property,” said club president Steve Buffington. “And are excited to start building the new club and becoming great neighbors and community members in Stowe Township.”