Brooke and Zoe Gee at the Bundamba Skateaway which reopened on December 27, 2011.
Brooke and Zoe Gee at the Bundamba Skateaway which reopened on December 27, 2011. Sarah Harvey

Skating rink back in action

AFTER almost a year of heartache and expense, Bundamba Skateaway doors are finally open to the public.

The skate centre reopened last Tuesday to an enthusiastic crowd of regulars after major repairs and refurbishment.

Last January's flood almost submerged Skateaway, severely damaging the 32-year-old building.

In October, thieves set back the recovery when they stole $10,000 worth of newly installed electrical cable.

Co-owner Debra Buttner said, apart from the shell of the building, there was nothing left after the flood.

Recovery costs would come close to $1 million.

"We've done it for the sport and the people," Mrs Buttner said.

"It's the only purpose-built skating rink in Queensland. We couldn't let everyone down and let an iconic business go.

"We've given it a complete facelift. All of our money was spent in the Ipswich area and went back into the local community.

"I think the future's looking extremely bright."

In coming weeks the centre will boast a new toddler play area, parents' retreat and video wall.

Mrs Buttner said Mayor Paul Pisasale and Ipswich City Council had given incredible support.

"The flood brought out the best in everyone but there's a lot of hurt still out there," she said.

"Everyone is putting on a brave face and hoping for the best."

Mrs Buttner and her husband, David, also had to cope with flood damage to their home in 2011. They returned to the house in July.

The Buttners bought Bundamba Skateaway in 2007.

"My husband and I dated at that rink 28 years ago," Mrs Buttner said. "It was great to just get the doors open and see all the regulars lined up.

" We've still got a lot of work to do."

Holiday session times for Bundamba Skateaway are from 10am to noon and 1pm to 3pm weekdays.

Zoe and Brooke Gee, from Kensington Grove, tried skating for the first time last Friday.

"They've enjoyed it," their mum Kellie said.