Skating could start later this month
By Michael Turton
Philipstown may not have a Zamboni machine, but it will soon have an ice rink. Work on the temporary outdoor skating facility got underway on Jan. 9 (Thursday) with the removal of the old handball courts at the Claudio Marzollo Community Center in Garrison. Recreation Director Amber Stickle hopes skating can begin by the end of January. “We definitely want it ready for the Winter Carnival on Feb. 8,” she said.
The rink’s foundation, an impervious, tarp-like ground cover measuring 140 feet by 64 feet with a low border to help retain water, will arrive next week. Prior to that the area around the former handball court must be graded into a level surface. The Garrison Volunteer Fire Company has volunteered to fill the rink with water once it’s ready.
The $7,000 cost of purchasing the rink, as well as the cost of installation, is being funded by the Friends of Philipstown Recreation.
“We’re really excited,” Stickle said. “The rink will be up for as long as it’s cold enough – and then we’ll have it for future use as well.” Once the rink hosts its first skaters, Stickle will be looking for volunteers to help maintain it. A simple device designed for resurfacing the ice will make that task easier. “It’s basically a giant squeegee with a water hose attached to it,” she explained.
Originally, the rink was to be built at Philipstown Park but Stickle said it made more sense to locate it at the Community Center where the road and the parking lot are already plowed in winter and indoor restrooms are available along with other facilities at the main building.
The only major unknown is Mother Nature – as evidenced by a predicted 60-degree variation in temperatures this week.
“A lot will depend upon the weather,” Stickle said.
Photos by M. Turton