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State Bond Commission OKs Money for Babb’s Roller Skating Rink Repairs

The state Bonding Commission approved reallocation of $70,000 to the restoration of Suffield's historic summer camp.

An aerial view of the Babb's beach and park. Photo: Town of Suffield.
An aerial view of the Babb's beach and park. Photo: Town of Suffield.

The coffers to pay for repairs at the historic Babb's Roller Skating Rink on the shores of Congamond Lake have been infused with some help from the state Bond Commission.

At its May 30 meeting, commission voted to that allow Suffield officials to improve Babb’s Roller Skating Rink using money set aside years ago for different project.

Commission members approved the reallocation of $75,000 that in 2000 was authorized for improvements to the bath house at Babb’s Beach. That project, however, never materialized, and Suffield First Selectman Edward McAnaney recently approached State Rep. Tami Zawistowski (R-61) about following up with the commission to sign off on a reallocation.

Residents of West Suffield have made significant strides toward improving the rink, many of them having used it for roller skating when they were children and teens.

Zawistowski requested that legislative leaders and staff from the Office of Policy and Management place the request on the commission’s meeting agenda.

“I’m happy to have played a small role in pushing this project forward, and this decision from commission members is a recognition of the grassroots effort put forth by the Babb’s Restoration Committee, the Lake Congamond Community and many residents of Suffield,” Zawistowski said.

The Babb family operated the summer lake resort on the shores of the Congamond Lake starting in the late 1890s. The roller skating rink was built circa 1930 as a dance hall. The facility hosted well-known musicians during the Big Band era.  The Babb family donated the approximately seven-acre property to the Town in 1977. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on July 21, 2006.

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