Outdoor rink could be a go

Darrell
Darrell Cole
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Town to talk to Lions Club about converting Cornwall Avenue tennis courts

AMHERST - It appears as though an outdoor rink in the West Highlands part of town could be a reality this winter.

Amherst has agreed to enter into discussions with the Amherst Lions Club about converting the tennis courts on Cornwall Avenue into an outdoor rink, but council wants a few concerns addressed by the club before giving it the green light.
"We need to know if this is a project of the Lions Club or is it just one person acting on his own," Coun. George Baker said during a committee-of-the-whole meeting earlier this week.
In a letter to the town, Walter Jones, who is heading a club committee looking at the feasibility of establishing an outdoor rink, asked the town for use of the tennis courts as an outdoor rink. Temporary boards would be installed around the perimeter of the fence that surrounds the courts while the fire department would be asked to flood the property so ice could be made.
Baker thinks an outdoor rink is a good idea, but wants assurances Jones has the support of the club.
Jones said he is pushing the project, but it does have the club's support.
"It was voted on at the club and passed so I'd assume that means it's a club project," Jones said.
If the plan goes ahead, Community and Economic Development director Roger MacIsaac said it would be up to the Lions to handle maintenance and ensure those using the facility have proper equipment.
The Lions would also be responsible for liability insurance on the property and it would be their responsibility to make sure the property is secure when it's not in use.
Concerns were raised by Operational Services director Ben Pitman and fire chief Bill Crossman about the use of an adjacent fire hydrant, with both indicating they'd be willing to sit down with members of the Lions club to put a plan together.
If the project is successful, Jones said the Lions could consider establishing a permanent facility somewhere in the community. He originally proposed a patch of land near the Lion Cecil Small field recently purchased by the club, but said it can go anywhere.
"It doesn't have to be there. I thought it would be good because we just purchased that piece of land. There are other places in town it could go," he said, adding a survey he conducted plus an online poll in the Amherst Daily News suggest support is there for an outdoor rink.
He also stressed the project will not go ahead without volunteers, adding the club is holding a public meeting Nov. 4 at 7:45 p.m.
dcole@amherstdaily.com

Organizations: Amherst Lions Club, Operational Services, Amherst Daily News

Geographic location: Cornwall Avenue, West Highlands

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Recent comments

  • Greg
    February 24, 2010 - 23:46

    As an avid supporter of skating in our community I think this is a great idea and hope to see it turn into a permanent facility. Skating, whether through hockey, figure skating or recreational, is an activity enjoyed by over 6 million Canadians. Unfortunately, having only one public ice surface in Amherst resticts the availablity of ice time and many people are simply unable to participate. Please show your support for the Lion's Club in making this project succeed.

  • Kim
    February 24, 2010 - 23:46

    Great idea, way to go Lions Club !!! =)

  • Wonderful Idea
    February 24, 2010 - 23:45

    Way to go lions club!!.....That is a wonderful idea, Hopefully the town will HELP you and the idea will become reality since the lions club wants to do something for the kids of this town, a town that doesn't have a whole lot of things to do if you are a child. Keep up the great work lions den you are doing wonderful things in this towm.... :)

  • Steve From Amherst
    February 24, 2010 - 23:45

    I am happy to hear the Lion's Club is taking this initiative! The kids need things like this to do. Hopefully the town doesn't try to roadblock it. One concern about using the tennis courts - would the ice harm the concrete (maybe by its weight)? They are nice courts too.

  • Sandi
    February 24, 2010 - 23:45

    I just want to comment on the issue of the outdoor rink at Westhighland school and I live right next to the school and I know that there is not a whole lot of things for the kids to do in Amherst and them talking about the skateboard/bike club is also a great idea. If they need parents to volunteer everyonce in awhile, even though I don't have small kids I think volunteering for this would benefit everyone in the long run. Please feel free to contact me I am a student at NSCC in Amherst.

  • Not surprised
    February 24, 2010 - 23:45

    After reading this article, I don't believe the Town officals want the Lion's Club to proceed with the rink. Do you think they could offer a little bit of support to the Club??? The Lions club needs to do this, the Lions club needs to do that, ect, ect. At any time reading this article did I hear a hint of help from the powers that be at the Town. The Lions Club is offering to do a great service for THE TOWN!!! Once it is complete, I will take my kids there to skate quite often.....I am glad someone is doing something for kids in this Town becasue it sure doesn't happen a lot

  • nadine
    February 24, 2010 - 23:45

    KOOL! I would love to take my kids to an out side rink. i think it would be just like when i was a kid in gagetown, we had a little shed to take off n change our skates and one bench and a light and the police came by to make sure nothing bad happend.. the rink was always busy!