Mayor Proposes Ice-Skating Rink 

Will we be busting triple lutzes next to CenterStage?

click to enlarge street04_ice_skates_200.jpg

What would Brian Boitano do?

More to the point, what would Mayor Dwight C. Jones do?

Jones confirms his plan to propose an outdoor ice-skating facility — reminiscent of the one at Rockefeller Center in New York — on vacant Broad Street property adjacent to the CenterStage performing-arts complex.

“No, the mayor does not skate,” Jones spokeswoman Tammy Hawley says, but “the mayor has a strong focus on helping downtown become more vibrant.”

The plan takes the form of a proposal, yet to be submitted, in which Jones asks the city's Recreation and Parks Foundation to front fundraising efforts for the facility.

Hawley says the idea originated with Jones, who drew inspiration from a Walk-Off physical fitness event in which he participated last year. He sees skating as a way to encourage an “active and healthy city,” Hawley says.

Jones' proposal may have more than a snowball's chance in hell: The ice rink's construction would involve no city money, Hawley says. Instead, the estimated $91,000 to $110,000 required to build it would be raised through the park foundation (allowing donors to speed skate toward a healthy tax break).

She says Jones has “pledges in place for $80,000 already.” 

So why outdoor ice skating in Richmond, a town where the average high temperature in January and February is between 45 and 50 degrees?

“A lot of people like ice skating,” Hawley says.

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