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SF Officials Discuss Adding Ice Rink Downtown

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City officials are in the preliminary planning stages of bringing added life to the city's downtown. They are trying to figure out which location would work best for a new ice skating rink. Farwick Park and the area around 6th and Phillips are sites they have in mind.

"We have Winter Wonderland at Falls Park, and so we're trying to do more to try to connect Falls Park with the downtown, and so having an ice rink would just add to the Winter Wonderland theme, so to speak," said Parks Administration Director Don Kearney.

Kearney said the project can cost anywhere from $250,000 to $750,000. That price will vary based on whether they go with a natural ice rink or the more expensive route - a refrigerated rink.

"The beauty of that is that you can have ice from November 1st essentially all the way through the end of March, and so if we were going to do one, I'd certainly recommend that we pursue a refrigerated rink," said Kearney.

A refrigerated rink would avoid the battle crews are having this season with making ice. Warm temperatures during the day are making it impossible to keep the ice frozen and safe to skate on.
Hopefully, the possibility of a new rink next winter will make the time worthwhile.

"I think everything that we do to try to get people coming into our core of our city is important. To have more things to do than just shop or dine, potentially. To have some recreation facilities in the area, I think just adds to the quality of life of Sioux Falls," said Kearney.

Officials said they're not leaning towards using the rinks for sporting events at the moment, since some of their rinks already have hockey pens.

The project will be funded through city funds and possibly donations from the private sector.
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