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City Installs Ice Skating Rink

Beachwood%27s+outdoor+basketball+courts+have+been+transformed+into+a++skating+rink.+Photo+by+Prerna+Mukherjee.
Beachwood's outdoor basketball courts have been transformed into a  skating rink. Photo by Prerna Mukherjee.

Beachwood's outdoor basketball courts have been transformed into a skating rink. Photo by Prerna Mukherjee.

Beachwood's outdoor basketball courts have been transformed into a skating rink. Photo by Prerna Mukherjee.

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A portable ice skating rink has been installed near the Beachwood Family Aquatic Center and is now open for public use.

Beachwood’s Community Services Director Karen Carmen explained that the idea was spurred by community interest.

“It actually came at a request of a few residents,” Carmen said. “It was at the end of last year, and we investigated it… It was too tight to get it off the ground for last year, but we made it happen this year.”

The skating rink was purchased before winter break at a cost of around $4,000, including shipping.

The location of the rink takes advantage of existing recreational space.

“It’s on the basketball courts, which are behind the tennis courts,” Carmen said. “You’ll enter it at the Aquatic Center parking lot.”

“Basketball courts don’t really have much of a use during the winter time, so we’re really not alienating anybody right now,” she continued. “We’re adding another community activity.”

The portable ice rink has been filled with water, and it will be removed after the winter season.

We just filled it with water and [waited] for mother nature to do its magic”

— Community Services Director Karen Carmen

“We just filled it with water and [waited] for mother nature to do its magic,” Carmen said. “… [The rink is] portable in that it doesn’t remain in place, meaning come the spring and summer, it will go into storage, and [the space] will be returned to a basketball court.”

Beachwood Mayor Merle S. Gorden explained the weather conditions needed for the ice rink to be safe enough to skate on in an email.

“The ice needs three consecutive days at 25 degrees or colder to thoroughly freeze to be safe to skate,” Gorden wrote in an email. “Sporadically, we have had a few cold days and then it heats up to the high 40’s and we have to start all over again as the ice melts.”

The rink was thawed for much of January, which was unseasonably warm.

Gorden added that after the ice settles, it does not need to be refilled with water.

“Our Service Dept. maintains the ice when needed,” Gorden added. “The service personnel uses a light spray of water with a ‘smoother’ tool to give the ice a clean, shiny, flat and smooth finish.”

The rink is a 52 foot by 72 foot rectangle with a low wall – about two feet tall –  surrounding it that skaters must step over in order to get on the ice.

Carmen added that the rink is free and open for public use.

“It’s free and open to the public, open sunrise to sundown,” she said. “We’re just asking people to bring their own skates.”

Sophomore Melondy Shen is excited about the new recreation opportunity.

“I think it’s really awesome because it’s free, and anyone can go,” she said. “We just have to have our own pair of skates – that’s the only disadvantage.”

Beachwood parent Evren Cavusoglu also supported the idea of having an ice rink in Beachwood.

“It is a fun activity for families, so I think it is a good idea to have one in Beachwood. It is a good outdoor activity for the cold winter days,” Cavusoglu wrote in email.

Beachwood parent Gabriela Trybus expressed her support and suggested more publicity of the new ice rink.

“I think it’s [a] great idea, probably needs a little more publicity, maybe the schools could host a family night,” Trybus wrote in an email. “It gives families another option for an activity to do together during the winter.”

“I think this might become an annual tradition. We’re waiting to see how it’s received,” Carmen shared.

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City Installs Ice Skating Rink