ADAMS TWP — The Pittsburgh Curling Club is looking at land in the township for a new curling-only facility.
Steve Buffington, club president, said a curler in his club owns almost two acres in Adams and would be willing to sell it for a curling facility.
Buffington said club officers have looked at a number of locations, and the final decision will depend on price and the most level site. However, he said the Adams plot is the primary spot being considered for the $900,000 facility.
Buffington said he will divulge the location of the Adams site if a deal is made. He said it is about 10 miles from the intersection of Interstate 79 and Route 228.
The club currently uses the Robert Morris University Island Sports Center on Neville Island for curling, which is a traditionally Canadian sport where competitors slide large, smooth stones down a lane of ice toward a target.
Buffington said ice used for hockey is not optimal for curling because the two sports require different types of surfaces. He said it takes the club’s curling teams up to 40 minutes to condition the ice after it is cut by a Zamboni because hockey ice is watered while being cut, while a dry cut is better for curling.
He said a new facility would allow the 95-member club, which has about a dozen curlers from Butler County, to work toward its goal of increasing awareness of the sport. The chance to offer more times, leagues, after-school and youth curling, weekend public curling, charity events, corporate tournaments and events would be other benefits of a new building.
He said several Canadians live in the Pittsburgh area and want to be involved in the sport, but not on hockey ice.
“If we had our own ice seven days a week, we could do so much,” Buffington said. “We would especially love to run youth curling teams.”
He said the sport is excellent for athletes with a physical injury or disability, who can use a delivery stick to push the stone as opposed to assuming the traditional crouched position. Buffington said the club has about 12 members who use a delivery stick, which is similar to a shuffleboard stick.
Buffington said the club has been raising funds for a new facility, and a meeting with a bank regarding a loan produced positive results.
“That will get us about two-thirds of the way there,” Buffington said. “The rest will have to come from the (fundraising) efforts of club members.”
Buffington said a decision on a location will be made in March or April. He hopes construction over the summer will be complete for fall use, when the curling season starts.
For information on the Pittsburgh Curling Club, visit www.pittsburghcurlingclub.com.