After six years of work, the Rotary Park Revitalization Committee is close to putting the cap on upgrades to the George Street park.
The cap – literally – is the roof over the ice pad at the park, which the committee hopes will be completed within a week, weather permitting.
Brent Collett, chairman of the committee, said lighting will be put in and the boards erected after the roof is completed to finish off the rink work.
The ice will go in on Dec. 1, give or take a few days, Collett added.
When finished, the roof will be the final piece in the committee’s $2-million rejuvenation of Rotary Park.
Collett’s committee had been fundraising for, and overseeing, a massive revamp of the west-end park that has already brought such features as a children’s splash pad, a bicycle pump track, a basketball court, a gazebo and the artificial ice surface on a concrete pad that in summer is converted for skateboard use.
The Rotary Park improvements have in recent years been hailed as an example of citizen volunteers working in a successful partnership with city officials to improve infrastructure. A similar model has been followed for upgrades to the Brock Trail and the historic railway tunnel.
The main stumbling block to the Rotary Pad roof came when the committee found that soil conditions would require the roof supports to go down deeper, adding to the cost.
The foundation issue delayed the roof for about a year, during which the roof sat in storage over the winter while committee members figured out what to do.
The west-end pad has been the site of the Brockville Winter Classic, and organizers are “Super excited” to see the roof go up before next year’s event, said Jeff Severson, part of the organizing committee.
“We were getting a little nervous that the roof was not going to be up in time for the winter,” said Severson.
“It makes, for sure, that we will be able to play,” he added.
“In the event that it rains, we won’t have to worry about that.”
The arrival of the roof is good news to anyone who skates on the otherwise open-air pad, said Severson.
“The roof now will protect you from the elements,” he said.
The lighting is also welcome news.
“You’ll have a longer playing time,” said Severson.
“You’re not done at dark now.”
Winter Classic organizers are now waiting for the roof and boards to be done in order to use the Rotary pad as the site of their next media event announcing next year’s Winter Classic, said Severson.
The next Winter Classic is to take place during Family Day weekend, 2018, featuring the New York Rangers alumni team.