June 6, 1996
Vol. 15, No. 19

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    City skating rink coming to Midway

    Olympic-sized ice rink will be open from November to March Sharpen your skates and get ready for a full season on the ice -- on the front doorstep of campus.

    By Thanksgiving, an Olympic-sized ice rink, complete with refrigeration system, will open on the Midway Plaisance, most likely in the vicinity of Woodlawn Avenue, according to a plan announced by Mayor Daley. A concession and rental stand will allow skaters to rent skates and warm up with hot chocolate.

    The rink, one of eight to be constructed in the city, will be modeled after the successful Skate on State rink. Although the campus has had a skating rink on the Midway for several years, it frequently has not been skateable because of inconsistent weather. The refrigerated rink will allow for a full season of skating, from late November through mid-March.

    The University sought to have one of the rinks located in Hyde Park to give students, faculty, staff and the community a high-quality recreational opportunity, said Jonathan Kleinbard, Vice President for University News & Community Affairs.

    "Mayor Daley, Jonathan Rogers, president of the Park District board, and Alderman Barbara Holt helped bring the rink to the Midway, and we are grateful for their efforts," Kleinbard said. "We expect the entire community to use the rink. It is a wonderful opportunity for students, faculty, staff and all of our neighbors."

    Plans are being made to recruit University students to teach skating on a volunteer basis to schoolchildren in Hyde Park, Woodlawn and North Kenwood.

    Construction will begin in September on the rink, which will be about 100 feet by 200 feet in size. The Park District plans to dismantle the rink in late March and reinstall it in autumn each year.

    Each rink, including the one on the Midway, will cost the city about $850,000. The money will come from recently discovered funds generated on the interest of city park revenue bonds and from advertising along the bumpers surrounding the rink.