and Rose Mellencamp,
operated the Rok-Sey
Roller Rink thru-out 1965 - 2004 !
would like to thank Speck, Joe, and
Rose..... for all the wonderful memories
from the past !
much work, was put into getting the Rok-Sey Arena
operation for area
2007 - 2008 by
Glenn and Nancy Noblitt, and family.
From June to October 2007, the building received a makeover after being
for several years.
It officially opened to the public this January. But, then
flooding hit in June 2008.
That's when the building, which sits just feet away from the East Fork
White River on County Road 725 North, had 18 inches of water lapping
outside. But with some quick action by the owners, Glenn and Nancy
some last-minute sandbagging, only four inches flowed into the
much of the damage was confined to the skating rink's floor. "We had a
window frame of seven hours to prepare for the flood. Nobody really had
prepare for it. It took all the sandbags we could
were able to move much of the arena's contents, such as appliances,
furniture, onto higher ground.
Some damage was done to the outside
of the building, and
floodwaters washed out part of the front parking lot.
Overall, Noblitt estimated nearly $250,000 in damage. Among the costs
powerwashing and cleaning the walls and carpet for $97,000, and the new
which is being installed by Martin Flooring of Louisville, at $78,000.
Flooring also redid the flood-damaged gymnasium floors at Columbus East
Noblitt applied with Federal Emergency Management Agency and Small
Administration for assistance, but gained nothing. The Noblitts did,
have flood insurance, and their son, Nathan, said that helped.
"In this case, it did because it was structural damage," Nathan said.
"In most cases, if it doesn't wash the building off the foundation,
not covered. This was the structure part of the business."Now that work
well under way,
It began Aug. 22, when plywood was placed on the floor."There is a
quarter-inch Styrofoam under the plywood and that really makes kind of
"After they get the hardwood laid, they will sand it and give it two
of finish," Glenn said. "Then they will be done with their part. This
floor is No. 1 maple, and it's the same as in gymnasium floors. It's
going to be
a gorgeous floor, and it's going to be beautiful. It will be one of the
Glenn and Nathan, who operate their own construction business, will
the carpet and laminate flooring, and the walls will be done by the
"I'm expecting to have everything complete by Halloween," Glenn said.
"But we'll probably be open before then."
Before Glenn and Nancy reopened earlier this year, the building had
for four years. His cousins, Joe and Rose Mellencamp, owned Rok-Sey
from 1965 to
2004. One night in the 1960s, four arson fires were set to buildings in
city, and Rok-Sey was among them.
Glenn, who was then serving as chief of the Seymour Fire Department,
was on duty
"They couldn't be at four places at one time," Nathan said, and
Rok-Sey and a shelter house at Shields Park were the two buildings not
that night. The Rok-Sey building, which originated in 1929,
had to be rebuilt.
"It made us happy and we kept it in the family," Glenn said. Nathan
also liked it being back in the family. Glenn and Nancy's
Allman, Jeremiah Noblitt and Cassidy Linnemeier, help out at the arena
"It was time for somebody to do something with the building," Nathan
said. "Eventually, it would've went to the wayside. It was an asset to
"There were 14 holes in the roof, the trusses were broken in the
and we cleaned and rewashed the floor," Glenn said. "We had to clean
it four or five times to get the debris off."
By Halloween night, they had the place ready for the first party
through the winter, business went well. In fact, the week of the flood,
parties were booked and a family reunion was set on the day of the
flood."We ran from 80 to 100 kids every Friday and Saturday," he said,
while some parties attracted as many as 300 people.
"We're just going to keep trying to make it better," he said. "I
hope (flooding) doesn't ever happen again."
Now that work is coming to a close, the Noblitts look forward to
Rok-Sey tradition in Seymour.
"We want something for the kids to do and the parents, too," Nathan
said. "There is no
no drugs, no alcohol. In that regard, it can
be a true asset."
With a limited number of skating rinks in the area,
Glenn said Rok-Sey is
"People all over southern Indiana know about it. We've got one at
and we're going to get it open.
"I appreciate the business we've had. We love Seymour and the kids, and
we can keep 200 of them off the street and out here enjoying
don't have to worry about them.
That's my goal, for the kids to have something to
We're very proud of Rok-Sey and we're proud we could do
something for the city of