Skate Island being torn down

Local4 News at 5
Published: Jan. 13, 2022 at 6:06 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 13, 2022 at 6:07 PM CST
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GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) - It’s a day Skate Island owner Steve Anderson never believed would happen. The longtime staple in the Grand Island community is being demolished.

Getting chocked up at times while speaking with Local4, Anderson said seeing the building being torn down is gut-wrenching.

“I raised my family in here. My kids were 2 and 4 when I came back to town,” he said. “It’s something you never expect to ever happen.”

It was nearly one year ago, on February 8, 2021, when about 75 percent of Skate Island’s roof collapsed under the weight of the snow that had accumulated for several weeks.

Anderson and his family had been operating the business for 52 years.

He said he didn’t think it could get worse after surviving being closed in 2020 due to the pandemic. He said once they re-opened the community rallied around it.

He goes on to say everything was rolling, school was starting back up in January 2021 and then February 8th hit.

Anderson said they tried hard to keep it in the community but were unable to, making the decision over the summer that Skate Island would not return.

The demolition process took longer than anticipated.

“It took several months to take all the asbestos out inside,” he said. Most of the building was laying on the floor so it took time to get it properly taken out and destroyed.

Anderson said now demolition will be much quicker. The crew working on tearing it down said it will be dependent on the weather but it will likely be by April for when the building will be completely knocked down and the area cleaned up.

The land will be up for sale.

“There will never be a roller skating rink on it again,” Anderson said. “It’s just the signs of the time.”

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