As soon as the air gets a little nippier, Portage will have a new place to ice skate.
A new rink at Goodyear Park – made of wooden utility poles, a plastic tarp and water from a nearby fire hydrant – is expected to be created in the next few days, Parks and Recreation Director Dan Kremer told the city’s Parks and Recreation Board on Tuesday.
But the temperatures, which in recent days have hovered around the freezing point, will need to get colder before the rink is ready and open for public use.
“It should be cool,” Kremer said.
The new rink would be in addition to the city’s other ice-skating venue, on the frozen-over surface of the pond at Pauquette Park.
When the pond’s ice is at least 6 inches thick, city crews clear off the snow to create a skating surface, and signs go up indicating that the pond is a safe place to skate.
Kremer said the rink at Goodyear Park would not require such a thick ice surface to be safe for use.
Its dimensions, established by the utility poles, would be about 35 feet wide and between 60 and 80 feet long.
Board member Mark Hahn said he expects the new rink to be popular, particularly with children who attend nearby Rusch Elementary School.
Goodyear Park also is the location of the city’s splash pad and the Portage Family Skate Park.
The new rink will not have a warming house available, Kremer said.
A proposed program to offer ice skate rentals at Pauquette Park, and possibly also at the new rink, is on hold until more pairs of skates can be obtained, he said.