BRIARCLIFF MANOR, N.Y. – Fearing another warm winter, Briarcliff Manor officials have found a new spot for the ice rink formerly located at the pond at Law Memorial Park.
Village crews began setting up a new rink this week just over 100 yards away from the pond on top of the clay tennis courts in Law Park. Village officials spent “a few thousand dollars” to purchase a new temporary ice skating rink, Village Manager Philip Zegarelli said.
The pond is several feet deep and takes weeks to freeze for skating, Zegarelli said. But the new 100-foot-by-52-foot rink has a depth of only 5 inches and should take a couple of days to freeze.
“We’re using the old plastic pool liner on top of the clay courts, and it’s going to look like a big cookie tray once it’s set up,” he said. “By having that depth, we’re thinking it’s going to take just a couple of days of below freezing temperatures for it to freeze over. I don’t think anyone can drown in it.”
Last winter had unseasonably warm temperatures, which meant only a few short weeks of safe skating on the pond, Zegarelli said.
“Using an existing water source like a pond is very iffy. You really have to have cold weather for a prolonged period for a pond to freeze over,” he said. “Based on what we went through last year, which was very warm, that would never occur.”
The village is considering adding another rink next winter depending on the success of this year’s rink. Construction was halted Tuesday because of rain, but completing the work could take less than a day, Zegarelli said.
“Earlier this season we had a couple of days that were down in the 20s so we’re not sure when it will be cold enough, but we’re getting ready for it,” he said. “It’s an experiment, but the overall idea is expand recreational opportunities in an area that hasn’t occurred in many years.”
Open skating hours, hockey hours and private skating parties would be available once the rink is constructed and temperatures sustain the ice, recreation officials said. Further details regarding the operation of the new skating area would be available soon after the rink is constructed, Zegarelli said, which he expects to occur before the New Year.