WARSAW — At the Tuesday, June 21, meeting of the Warsaw Parks And Recreation Board, Rich Haddad, a representative of K21 Health Foundation, presented a proposal for the creation of an ice skating rink in one of the Warsaw parks.
“I think in northern Indiana one of our challenges is how we stay fit when we hibernate, in the winter … The biggest thing we can do for our community [health] is to create opportunity,” Haddad said while presenting the concept to the board.
The design of the outdoor ice rink calls for a large overhead pavilion and a cooling system, which would allow the rink to be in operation during snow, rain and even temperatures up to 50 degrees fahrenheit.
In the summer the rink would create a pavilion that could be rented for weddings or corporate gatherings. An ice skating rink would also benefit by drawing in potential visitors and tourists from nearby communities. The proposed uses of the facility would be free skating, a Skate With Santa event, New Year’s Eve parties and leagues for both Hockey and Curling.
Summer uses would include a place to house concerts, a location for a Farmer’s Market as well as just a place for picnics in the park. However, the startup financial cost of the project would not be small. According to the information Haddad provided, the rink and refrigeration cooling system by itself would cost roughly $230,000. The pavilion would cost $200,000 and the miscellaneous category (consisting of skates, lighting, seating, warming stations and other necessary costs) would cost roughly $120,000.
All together, the estimated cost of the rink was $550,000. Haddad also pointed out that the rink would be a great opportunity for advertising and corporate sponsors, which would offset the cost.
According to the 2012-2016 Warsaw Parks And Recreation Master Plan survey, nearly 70 percent of polled Warsaw residents responded positively to the addition of a ice skating rink to the Warsaw park system.
“K21 would be very interested in partnering with Warsaw on this,” Haddad stated, “I think it’s got great potential,” Haddad continued, wrapping up his presentation.
After considering the proposal, the board approved a motion to put together an ad-hoc committee in order to look into the viability of the project.