GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — The ongoing restoration of Rosa Parks Circle this winter season, means no downtown skating. Or so we thought.
The Downtown Development Authority (DDA), in partnership with the City of Grand Rapids has proposed a solution that would open the Van Andel Arena to the community.
The proposal, recommended for approval by the DDA, would reallocate the $40,000 in the FY22 NTI budget for Rosa Parks skating operations to community skating at Van Andel.
The CAA will allow the Arena to be used free of charge and has asked only that the City and DGRI cover the costs to have the facility open and maintained.
Those costs include staff time, operations, custodial, EMTs and security and utilities, and are currently estimated at $4,000 - $5,000 for a 3-hour open skate. Capacity will be limited to no more than 300 persons at a time, and the City will manage access through a reservation system similar to what was used for skating at Rosa Parks last year.
Arena staff are currently working with the City and the CAA to coordinate a schedule and finalize a rental agreement.
"This is such a tremendous example of the collaborative spirit of this city, coming together to find ways to do things that are meaningful for the residents and the general public," David Marquardt, director of the city's parks and recreation department related Wednesday.
Official dates will be announced as soon as details are finalized, with the expectation that multiple dates will be available over the upcoming holiday season.
Pending finalization, Marquardt suggested the Arena may host as many as two to three open skate sessions per week into the new year.
Construction on Rosa Parks Circle is set to wrap up in February of 2022.
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