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SPRINGFIELD, Ore. – After 40 years of business, Skate World in Springfield is coming to a close.
Rink management announced in a Facebook post that the building is for sale. The post says “as both owners of the building and skating rink operation are deceased, it’s time to close this portion of the business.”
Angus Laird, a manager at Skate World for more than 20 years, said he can’t put into words how he feels about the news.
“First, you’re really sad.” Laird said. “Half of my career has been here and half the life of the skating rink I’ve been here.”
The rink has contributed to the community in many ways. Laird said they’ve employed hundreds of local teenagers over the years, and are one of the few that hire people under 18.
“In high school, I just looking for a job and no one else would hire me because I had no job experience,” said Jyreme Hewytt. “They were the only people that would actually hire me.”
Hewytt said he’s heartbroken about the news because he came to the rink a lot as a kid and has a lot of childhood memories there.
Over the years the rink has hosted a number of events, school parties and birthday parties. Laird said they probably have three generations worth of skaters that come in. Now, people in the community are doing what they can to hold on to it.
“Somebody called saying they wanted to get one of our signs that hangs from the ceilings,” Laird said.
Skate World said the rink will continue to operate on its regular schedule through June 30. Then after July 1, the rink will remain open as long as it remains feasible. The skate rink will continue to book parties and other events contingent upon the sale of the property.
Skate World has been open since 1976.