Substantial support for new rink in Jackson Sq.

April 3, 2009
By

We were disappointed to read in their letter in the March 20 JP Gazette [“CAC takes public responsibility seriously”] that Jackson Square citizens advisory committee (CAC) co-chairs Jennifer Spencer and Rodney Singleton believe one of the issues facing the Jackson Square CAC is “…how to proceed with development of a skating rink that few want, but somehow is still planned…”

The Friends of the Kelly Rink believe there is, in fact, substantial support in Roxbury and Jamaica Plain for a new state-of-the-art ice rink facility in Jackson Square. We collected approximately 500 signatures of local people in favor of building a rink in one afternoon at the 2004 JP World’s Fair. Last November, almost 150 rink supporters enthusiastically attended public meetings at which state Sen. Dianne Wilkerson explained how money in the recent environmental bond bill would be appropriated towards renovating the current the Melnea Cass facility for dry indoor recreation and building a new ice rink in Jackson Square.

Over 500 people have taken advantage of our Saturday morning “Learn-to-Skate” classes. This past winter we rented over 8,000 pairs of skates at the outdoor temporary rink, even though it was open only two months due to technical problems and bad weather. The rink was full of young people consistently: the youth of Rox-bury and Jamaica Plain who deserve the opportunity to learn to figure skate, play hockey and enjoy the benefits of a first-class recreational facility in their neighborhood.

Michael Frank, Steven Glickel, Bill Allan, John Pierce, Julie Knopp, Donna Cohen, Thomas O’Malley, Daniel Krulewitch and Deborah Block
For the Friends of the Kelly Rink