Out­door rink open­ing in Car­bon­ear

Use of ball field of­fers al­ter­na­tive to skat­ing on lo­cal pond

The Compass - - FRONT PAGE - BYMELISSA JENK­INS

The wooden frame­work is up around the in­field of Car­bon­ear Recre­ation Com­plex’s lower base­ball field, but not for a win­ter game of catch.

Car­bon­ear mu­nic­i­pal work­ers have be­gun prepa­ra­tions for an out­door skat­ing rink the town ex­pects will be op­er­a­tional early this year.

A plan for an out­door rink is not a new idea to the town. There were ru­mours last year it would take shape.

But this year, the plan is in ac­tion, and soon lo­cals will be able to strap on their skates, and hit the ice.

The sur­face of the ice will be 64 feet by 96 feet, and vis­i­tors will be able to use the dugouts and bleach­ers to get their skates on.

The plas­tic liner is in progress, with sev­eral mu­nic­i­pal em­ploy­ees work­ing on it at the recre­ation fa­cil­ity since early last week.

Prepa­ra­tions had to take a back seat for a few days, when a sud­den tem­per­a­ture drop last week forced work­ers to fo­cus on a wa­ter pres­sure is­sue that took pri­or­ity over the rink.

But now, things are back on track.

Rea­son for the rink

Car­bon­ear di­rec­tor of recre­ation Rob But­ton was on hol­i­days over Christ­mas, but he con­firmed a fur­ther up­date will be avail­able this week.

He did, how­ever, take some time dur­ing his va­ca­tion to tell The Com­pass why the rink is be­ing built.

Car­bon­ear Pond has been a fre­quent skat­ing lo­ca­tion for lo­cals for decades. But with un­pre­dictable ice con­di­tions, But­ton de­cided to take a dif­fer­ent ap­proach.

“I’ve had many peo­ple ask about pro­mot­ing skat­ing us­ing Car­bon­ear pond be­cause it was done years ago,” He ex­plained. “How­ever, due to chang­ing weather and is­sues with ice thick­ness, it is a ma­jor li­a­bil­ity is­sue.”

Some skaters still use Car­bon­ear Pond in the win­ter, but But­ton de­cided an al­ter­na­tive is prob­a­bly a safer op­tion.

“By cre­at­ing a rink, the town elim­i­nates the is­sue of in­di­vid­u­als fall­ing through ice and pos­si­bil­i­ties of drown­ing,” he said.

Ball field a good choice

Some res­i­dents who have heard about the rink have said they are pleased to see the op­tion brought to the town. But some have asked why the ball field was cho­sen.

But the rea­son is quite sim­ple, ac­cord­ing to But­ton.

“The rea­son for the choice of the ball field was be­cause of the light­ing,” he ex­plained. “If the weather co­op­er­ates and the rink is es­tab­lished we can of­fer night time skat­ing a cou­ple of times a week.”

The ball field is fully equipped with over­head light­ing, and will give more peo­ple an op­por­tu­nity to use the rink.

It is also in the mid­dle of the com­plex, with the rub­ber­ized track and pool on one side, and the ten­nis courts, bas­ket­ball court and up­per base­ball field on the other.

Although it’s been a while in the mak­ing, the new ice rink is ex­pected to be a suc­cess for lo­cals look­ing to have some skat­ing fun.

“We look for­ward to a won­der­ful win­ter sea­son, and pro­vid­ing our cit­i­zens with a safer choice for out­door skat­ing,” But­ton con­cluded.

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