WILKES-BARRE -- The ice rink where the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins practice plans to expand.
The ice rink in Wilkes-Barre has been in talks to expand for years, but thanks to some state grant money, plans are finally underway.
"I was at the original Ice-O-Rama when the doors first opened up, I believe in the early '70s," said Karel Zubris.
Zubris, of Diamond City Figure Skating, remembers how the ice rink on Coal Street in Wilkes-Barre has changed over the years.
"No walls, it was all open," she recalled.
The popularity of ice sports has also changed. The Toyota Sportsplex is where the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins ice hockey team practices. About a dozen club and school ice hockey teams also play there, and there are public skating and figure skating sessions.
"We've just been blessed to be so busy," said sportsplex general manager Jason Jerecki. "We're booked to capacity year after year after year."
Thanks to a $215,000 state grant, plans to add a second rink here can move forward. A second rink would mean more scheduling options for the teams that play there, including Wyoming Seminary.
"It's just going to be great for the area because ice hockey right now and figure skating are pretty popular," said Wyoming Seminary athletic director Karen Klassner.
There are even some plans during warmer months to keep one rink open for skating and use the second for other activities.
"Rollerblading, to bring back Irish days, bring back some of the things that used to go on at the old Ice-O-Rama, that's what's important to us," said Jerecki.
There is no timetable on when construction would start.
Ice rink officials say they are just now in the very early planning stages of that additional ice rink.