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 Maddie Yee, 11, left, skates in her front yard along with Josie Stevens, 8; Olivia Stevens, 10; and Jackson Yee, 17, Feb. 14 at the home of Kevin Yee.

Maddie Yee, 11, left, skates in her front yard along with Josie Stevens, 8; Olivia Stevens, 10; and Jackson Yee, 17, Feb. 14 at the home of Kevin Yee.

Photo by Donna Agusti

Farmington Hills man creates ice rink at home for family, neighborhood

By: Sherri Kolade | Farmington Press | Published February 19, 2018

FARMINGTON/FARMINGTON HILLS — Farmington Hills resident Kevin Yee is as cold as ice in the warmest way.

He built an ice rink on his property, in the 32000 block of Thorndyke Court, for his family, friends and neighbors.

“It’s very fun. It’s been a work in progress for a lot of years,” Yee said of the 35-by-60-foot rink that he finished around 2010.

The ice rink is set up with an ice rink kit that Yee disassembles and reassembles annually. It is filled with about 8,000 gallons of water and takes about 24 hours to fill up.

Yee said he originally began his project about 12 years ago as a much smaller rink, about 20 by 30 feet.

“It was just a little bit of room for my then-5-year-old to skate,” Yee said. “Since then, I’ve brought in 60 yards of topsoil and leveled it all off (on the yard).”

Now his 17-year-old son, Jackson, is a whiz on the ice and plays hockey on the rink to improve his skills.

“It’s also nice to have my friends over and I can skate with them whenever,” Jackson said, adding that kids in the neighborhood “can skate anytime.”

Jackson said his favorite time to skate is at night, when the ice rink lights are lit, which he described as a “beautiful sight.”

“Just skating out there until midnight, skating with my friends ... a lot of my friends love it,” Jackson said.

Yee, who also has an 11-year-old daughter and a 7-year-old son, said in an email that having the ice rink at home has definitely improved Jackson’s hockey skills. 

“He practices several skill development drills on the ice and shoots routinely on the net. He has played at varying levels of hockey and is currently playing for (the) Victory Honda AAA 16U team,” Yee said. “They are headed to the Tier 1 Championship tournament in Minnesota. … This is his first year playing AAA hockey, and I believe having the rink in the yard has undoubtedly helped his skill development.”

Neighbor Brennan Harvath said in an email that the ice rink really works to “make the community a home.” 

“They have done this for many years, dating back to before we moved in 2009,” Harvath said in the email. 

Harvath also said that the rink is open to all who want to come and skate.  

“They are out there daily shoveling — in addition to the driveway — so it can get the most use,” he said.  

Yee said that while there are ice skating options in Farmington and Farmington Hills, he doesn’t mind the option a little closer to home.

“The nice thing to be able to do (it) at the house is so you don’t have to worry about ice time or anything like that — you can just send them out there, go and play, unstructured fun,” Yee said.