Rink Development Project
Read all about our community rink development project
February 13th, 2012 @ 21:00
Visit our YouTube video, shot for the Rink Project Launch Party !
January 22nd, 2012 @ 10:24
Tickets are going fast for the Rink Project Lauch Party! Should be fun! Get your tickets by emailing Lori at email@example.com or by calling her at 613-327-6611
December 16th, 2011 @ 13:13
By our estimation, Rockcliffe Park suffers from inadequate recreation facilities. In addition, the outdoor rink season has become increasingly short due to warmer and inconsistent winters, and the outdoor rink arrangement with the City has become increasingly problematic.
Our informal committee was formed to address the state of recreation in Rockcliffe Park, and specifically the state of the ice rink operations.
Our committee is developing a proposal to build a permanent, concrete ice rink for skating and hockey for 5 months of the year which would then serve as a sport court for the remaining 7 months. The concrete rink would sit on the existing footprint on School Board property leased from the City. We are also proposing to build a fieldhouse on the City property next to the existing rink site and in between the two rinks. This overall project will dramatically improve recreation opportunities for Rockcliffe Park Public School students, all other students from neighbouring schools and the greater community.
It is of great importance that this community be supported by well-funded, vibrant recreation offering. There has been no build-out of Rockcliffe recreation facilities since a Community Room was built in the late 1980’s. Since that construction, Rockcliffe’s demographic has shifted from "empty nesters" to families with school-age children. (evidenced by the 5 Rockcliffe Park Public School portables)
As well, the rink season used to run from mid-December to late March. Now though, the City rarely erects the boards before December 1st, and rarely provides electricity to the trailer before mid-December. Until we get heat to the trailer we cannot flood the rink as the hose has to thaw between floods. Therefore, by the time the rink is up and running for seasonal skating in early January we could usually count on about 75 days of skating.
In recent years, however, the City has now halted electricity to the trailers as of the first week of March and has taken the trailers away during the second week of March. Due to budget cutbacks, they no longer want to pay for the rental of trailers and electrical service during dodgy March weather. So the rink season then falls to approximately 60 days if we have consistently good weather. We all know that our winters have been getting increasingly warmer, but, the problem seems to be the freeze/thaw/snow/rain cycles that play havoc with ice-making. In 2007 the rink was up and running on January 16th and in 2008 it was January 18th. It is now normal to have less than 40 days of skating at our outdoor rinks.
Our solution is a community-funded, permanent, concrete pad with ice chillers, to be placed on the existing rink site which would house a 5 month ice rink (November 1- April 15) and a 7 month sport court (May 1-October 15). The additional solution is a fieldhouse to be placed on City land in between the two Rockcliffe rinks.
Both of these installations would dramatically improve the recreation offering in Rockcliffe Park and dramatically improve the recreation offering for our kids.
The current operation of the Rockcliffe Rinks is a joint undertaking between the City of Ottawa, the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board, & Rockliffe Park Residents Association. (RPRA) The RPRA receives an annual grant from the City for operating the rinks. The City provides temporary hockey boards, a heated rink trailer, and electrical hook-up for the lighting. The City also pays for the electricity.
The School Board provides land for boarded rink (under lease from the City till 2042) and the School Board provides water supply to both rinks.
For years there did exist a change hut for the rink on school property. The School Board however, rightly tore this shack down 2003 due to its unsafe state of repair. Since then we have had 8 years of unsightly construction trailers.
The rink is scraped, shovelled and flooded from early December to mid-March by "The Rockcliffe Hosers" a 120 man crew of Rockcliffe parents ( actually, 119 men and 1 woman). The Hosers all have children between the ages of 4 and 17 and they have a strong affinity for the rink and its operation.
The rink’s primary users are the students of Rockcliffe Park Public School. Secondary users are other local schools and the general skating and hockey-playing public.
Proposed Permanent Ice Rink
Proposed Permanent Ice Rink
Kids could be playing hockey and skating for 5 months. (early Nov-mid-Apr) A longer skating season allows for all sorts of hockey, figure skating, and broomball programming when we have a facility that is not so beholden to the weather. The Rockcliffe Park Public School would continue to have unfettered access during school hours to an enhanced facility for a far greater portion of the school year.
This rink would be permanent on a concrete pad which allows for a Sport Court on top.
The dimensions would be 65’ X 130’. The existing dimensions of the rink are 50’X100’. The rink would have an arena-style rink board system of strong, light weight design and would be permanent. Permanent boards are preferred to temporary boards due to the avoiding the hassle of erecting and dismantling the boards. In addition, we would not have to rely on the City to provide the boards. We would use arena-style plexi-glass to cut down on noise and injuries and there would be an extensive landscaping program to green up and mask the perimeter of the rink so that it would be less visible to sightline neighbours on Buchan and Springfield.
The rink would be refrigerated by one or two ice chillers housed inside the sport pavilion/fieldhouse. The chillers chill the glycol in a prefabricated rink floor piping system. The quietly-operated refrigeration unit (chiller) runs on single phase power supply on a steel frame skid in the pavilion/fieldhouse.
Sport CourtOnce the ice is removed in mid-April, coloured plastic floor tiles that snap together would be placed on the concrete pad to create a coloured sports floor. This court would be ideal for basketball, tennis, ball hockey, inline skating, soccer. As well, concerts or community dances could be held in conjunction with the new sport pavilion/fieldhouse and the existing Jubilee garden pavilion.
The sport court would be placed on top of the concrete ice rink in mid-Apr. when temperature rises above 12-13C and the tiles would be removed in mid-October when the temperature slips below 12C. The tiles would be textured to decrease slippage and would feature a raised, perforated design to allow water to run through and drain from the floor.
The sport court makes the pavilion and concrete pad a year-round usage and therefore is an efficient use of land, time and money. As there is currently very weak offering for public recreation in Rockcliffe, the community would appreciate a sports offering for the changing demographic.
Indeed, witness the current recreation options here: Currently one must belong to Rockcliffe Lawn Tennis Club or be an Ashbury alumnus to play tennis in our community. The basketball offering is merely a couple of hoops without netting and on an uneven blacktop surface at Rockcliffe Park Public School. The RPPS field is often being seeded, watered, de-thatched, etc. Ball hockey is non-existent and dances are currently held in the Community parking lot.
Proposed Sport Pavilion/Fieldhouse
The fieldhouse will be a facility to be placed on City of Ottawa property between the large rink and the Jubilee Garden (puddle) rink which resides on the grass of the Jubilee Garden, just behind the baseball backstop.
This installation could serve other residents than just the rink users. It would provide year-round service to a recreation facility that could be programmed year-round. The main use of the building will operate as a rink change-hut as the primary purpose would be to support the rinks from November – April. This is foreseen as the largest usage. The secondary purpose would be to support the spring, summer and fall Sport Court and the summertime Rockcliffe/Linden Lea Park Soccer League.
The building is envisioned to be of stone and wood, Arts & Crafts style - one story with a locker room-style change area for hockey, skating and summer sports. Also there would be a works room for the hoses, hose reel, and snowblower and we envision a small garage for a small lawn tractor-style ice surfacer with rolling brush attachment. There could be perhaps some storage space for Rockcliffe/Linden Lea Park Soccer League equipment or other items that are currently being stored in the small storage room at the Community Hall. We hope to have a small kitchen or canteen.
Above all, this building is to be "a thing of beauty" and NOT like an institutional building. It would also not look like any other outdoor rink building in the City. It would be nestled in the trees and unobtrusive – as a bonus, the City has informed us that it need not have parking spaces created for its usage, as current street parking would be sufficient.
Cost and Fundraising
We have an agreement in principle with the City to fund our initiative on a 50% funding basis so we have to raise the other 50% . Our proposal was accepted and we submitted it for $980,000.
We have embarked on a fundraising campaign and are forming a committee to do so. We envision holding annual rink parties to raise approximately $25,000 per year to offset running costs of this facility. We also envision a Rockcliffe Recreation committee running the facilities, underneath and guided by the Rockcliffe Park Residents' Association, and the City supports such a notion. Costs would also be offset by programming the rink and Sport Court to satisfy the demand for programs and to satisfy the lack of cheap and available ice time in the City. As well, the Village Foundation indicates that all contributions to this project would go first to and through the Foundation and therefore they would be charitable, eligible for a charitable contribution receipt.