top of page

How can a skating rink strengthen a community?

By the late 1990’s the idea for a local indoor hockey rink had been discussed for nearly 20 years, pursued, dropped, and all but forgotten. Then two things happened which provided new impetus for creating a place that could support a healthy community. First there was a community triumph with the opening of a new state-of-the-art high school following a five year public fundraising campaign to provide the best education for children in our area. Then there was a community tragedy as suicide claimed the lives of several young adults. These events inspired a small group of passionate and dedicated local families to create MRC.


How can a skating rink strengthen a community?


According to one of MRC’s founding fathers,


“The vision was of everyone at the rink, of fathers and mothers and single parents having a place to go with their kids, of games filled with crowds, of families having a safe and fun place to do things together. That was the flame that started the fire. Everything quickly evolved, the energy grew, a piece of land became available, tennis courts were added and the rest is history. The intention behind MRC was never to make money. The goal was always to provide the community with an opportunity to do things together which then leads to an even stronger community. To be able to go someplace and do something where you can feel good both about yourself and the place where you are - that was the driving vision behind the Midcoast Recreation Center. Positive attitude creates positive outcomes."

From the day MRC opened its doors in 2001 the guiding mission has been centered on creating a positive environment for all members of our community. To make sure that MRC’s programs and facilities are accessible to everyone, MRC does not have general membership fees and makes reduced fees and program scholarships available to anyone in need. A healthy community is one in which everyone in the community is valued.

“The goal was always to provide the community with an opportunity to do things together which then leads to an even stronger community. ”

— Rick Bresnahan

All Are Welcome at MRC

This foundation of family-centered programming combined with a strong sense of community continues to be the cornerstone of the Midcoast Recreation Center’s mission today. MRC operates as a non-profit organization and remains steadfastly committed to the mission and vision of the original founders. Our commitment to serving the community and providing a safe and fun place for all has only continued to grow over the years.  


Since the original launch of the ice rink and tennis courts, the number of program offerings and the reach of the programs has greatly expanded as has the ability to provide scholarships and free programs.  In addition to ice hockey, figure skating and tennis, MRC offers pickleball, indoor golf, roller skating, a fitness center and more. MRC’s dedicated staff welcomes participants of all ages who travel from around the state to partake in our many offerings.


In 2022 MRC had over 30,000 program participants— not including contract groups, parties and other community outreach endeavors. Hundreds of children under the age of eight learned to play tennis and ice hockey for free or reduced rates each year. More than two thousand local school children participated in free Skating, Tennis and Education Programs (STEP) at MRC in 2022 and we offered free court time for local high school tennis teams. MRC also provided more than $11,000 in scholarships and financial aid to make a variety of MRC programs more accessible.  

The Start of MRC

Below is a selection of photos taken during the construction of MRC, mainly of the building of the Arena.

MRC's Driveway
Foundation Being Dug
Foundation Being Laid
Arena Supports
Beginning the Roof
Building Roof Supports
Bare Bones of the Arena Building
Heating Array Beneath Arena
Welding the Lines in Place
Heating Array Lines Laid Out
Concrete Base for Under the Ice
bottom of page