The newly renovated McCarren Park Pool was supposed to be transformed into an ice-skating rink this winter, that is until funding became an issue.
“The short version of a long story is we simply didn't have enough time to get it get it turned around and purchase or even rent the equipment that we needed to make it finically viable for us,” said Kurt Cavanaugh, assistant director of the Open Space Alliance.
But that doesn't meant the proposal is dead. Cavanaugh said the plan is simply pushed back to the fall of 2013, and admitted that OSA bit off a little more than it could chew with this project.
“Deadlines came and went,” he said.
With this $250,000 project not being able to make money right away OSA decided to shelf the project for the next year. They hope that if they get the timing right this go around than they will be able to attract ice skaters during the holiday season and make some of the money back.
Although the $250,000 project could go forward, the organization is waiting for next year to complete the rink because it couldn't be finished in time for the period between between Thanksgiving and the end of December, the “cash-making season,” said Cavanaugh. “The timing wasn't great.”
While OSA has a goal of making money Cavanaugh stated that the expense each individual community member will pay to use the public rink would be miniscule. He even refereed to the pricing for ice skaters as “quite competitive.” However, there are also “community hours” which will feature free ice skating once the rink is built.
At a meeting on Wednesday, October 17, Cavanaugh gave an update on the rink to members of Community Board 1's Parks and Waterfront Committee.
Philip Caponegro, chair of the committee, joking told Cavanaugh at a meeting on Thursday, October 19th, that with the rink set to be completed next fall, he has to promise this time to complete it.
Committee chair Philip Caponegro said that in his opinion the community should have a place to skate, even if it's temporary. “We were hoping, maybe, to save face for OSA,” he said.
“We would love to do some kind of winter programing on the space,” replied Cavanaugh. “We don't have anything concrete yet, but we'd love to work with community groups or really anyone in the community. Something to me is better than nothing.”