Bannerman Park skating rink nearing completion
The new ice surface at Bannerman Park in St. John's is almost ready, after a full summer of construction at the site.
Dave Blackmore, city manager of St. John's, said the $1.8 million winter wonderland will give families a cost-free opportunity to get outside and stay active during the winter months.
"It's all designed for family use, and family use in the summer, as well," Blackmore said.
"The track is designed so it's friendly to people who are learning to skate, small children and so on. There are a couple of areas where you can get out of the main stream. It is designed not to be a speed skating track … it's more for leisurely skating."
Blackmore said the lights around the track will allow people use of the rink even when it's dark.
"Basically what you see here now in the way of concrete will become ice just the same as a skating rink. It will be open to the public, it's lit so it will go into the evening, although we won't run a program into the evening, and people will be able to come here and skate at their leisure," he said.
In the community, anticipation is growing for the rink to open.
Colleen MacLeod said she thinks it's a great addition to the area.
"I'm really happy with it and excited to see it in operation, and I think once the lights are turned on it's going to be beautiful," MacLeod said.
"Years ago there used to be skating rinks in the park here so, it's kind of like returning it to the way things were."
In addition to the track, there will also be a splash pad and a brand-new playground as part of the revitalization.
The freezers will be turned on some time this week, and the city is hoping to have the rink ready for skaters by Christmas.