Outdoor, Public Ice Rink Coming to Wilmington
WILMINGTON -- Rotary Park is set to be the home of a new outdoor ice skating rink in town, expected to be open in December.
Board of Selectmen Chair Kevin Caira said the desire for an outdoor skating rink came up continually while he served on the committee for the Yentile Farm Recreational Facility. It was not possible to have a rink at the Yentile park, so the town began looking into alternatives.
“I think it’s going to be a great addition to the town -- a great opportunity for kids to get out during the wintertime and skate and enjoy the winter months,” Caira said. “It’s right across the street from Public Safety, so I think it’s in a good location where there shouldn’t be any types of problems in that regard.”
The seasonal, removable rink will be located off Church Street and will be 52 feet by 100 feet. It will be free and open to the public. Town Manager Jeff Hull said the town plans to order the rink in mid-October. The area will also be illuminated, thanks to the Department of Public Works and the Reading Municipal Light Department. The DPW’s Engineering Division confirmed that the grass field met the site specifications for the rink.
The cost of the purchase of the rink package, installation of the rink itself as well as lights and two benches, will total approximately $6,000, according to DPW Director Michael Woods. The DPW has recommended purchasing the outdoor stake rink system from the company NiceRink.
The Ristuccia Memorial Arena is the indoor ice rink located at 190 Main St. However, Woods said it is only open to the public at certain times.
“That’s mostly used to hockey practices and you have to rent time for your group,” Woods said. “I think this could be a nice way for families to spend some time in the evening in the winter months when there’s not much to do.”
The impermeable liner for the rink is recommended to be replaced annually, which will cost roughly $1,000. Caira said the purchase, installation and upkeep of the rink will be funded through the Recreation Department.
It will take about four weeks for the rink package to be shipped and another three weeks to install. Woods assured, there is no anticipated damage to the park area from the rink. The boards from the rink will be stored at the DPW during off-season months.
The process leading to the Yentile Farm Recreational Facility, also led to a dog park in town and the pickle ball courts. Caira said the hard work from volunteers of the committee having meetings and taking surveys helped make a significant impact in the town’s recreational offerings.
“There was a lot of interaction with the community and we heard what the community wanted for recreational enjoyment -- not only for humans, but for our four-legged friends -- and we tried to accommodate that,” Caira said. “The rink is just an added plus to the community for the kids and the adults.”
Follow Kori Tuitt on Twitter @KoriTuitt.