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Construction delays postpone ice skating at Rosa Parks Circle

Temps in the 40s don’t stop the ice skating at Rosa Parks Circle
Posted at 2:39 PM, Nov 15, 2021

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — The winter ice skating season at Rosa Parks Circle is postponed until further notice because of construction delays.

City officials said Monday that manufacturing delays with the new granite seating rings at Rosa Parks Circle have pushed the project’s expected completion date to February.

They’re looking into hosting possible alternative skating locations as well as offering a shortened skating season at Rosa Parks Circle when construction has been finished, if possible.

Temporary replacements – like a portable outdoor ice rink or synthetic ice solutions – were also considered but won’t be possible because of supply chain and cost factors.

Despite the skating postponement, the annual holiday tree lighting ceremony will still happen at the same location on Monroe Center Street on Dec. 3.

“We know ice skating at Rosa Parks Circle is a treasured winter tradition in Grand Rapids, and we’re hopeful that skating can be offered in some form this year,” Parks and Recreation Director David Marquardt said. “In the meantime, our city parks offer many other ways to enjoy the snow, get active and explore nature.”

Delays with the granite seating are a result of the global supply chain disruptions caused by the pandemic.

However, the “Ecliptic” at Rosa Parks Circle Conservancy says it is committed to artist Maya Lin’s original vision for the space.

“The granite seating rings will be more durable and require less maintenance than the concrete previously used,” Conservancy Chair Tripp Frey said. “’Ecliptic’ has seen more visitors than ever imagined when it was first dedicated 20 years ago, and these improvements will ensure it can be enjoyed for many years to come.”

Downtown Grand Rapids, Inc plans to offer other winter activities downtown, including World of Winter from Jan. 7 through March 6.

The city’s Parks and Recreation department is offering winter activities throughout the season at parks and public spaces across Grand Rapids.

When enough snow has accumulated, the department will have free sled rentals at two city parks and sledding hills, as well as trails for snowshoeing, cross country skiing and fat tire biking at Indian Trails Golf Course.

All city-owned parks and public spaces remain open to the public through the winter season every day from dawn to dusk.