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Watertown Rec. Dept. Wants an Outdoor Skating Rink at Casey Park

Area would be used for street hockey in warmer months. New lighting and repairs to the tennis court also planned.

Ice skates could be gliding on an outdoor sheet of ice if the Recreation Departement's plans become a reality.

The rink would be used for skating during the winter and street hockey and other games during the warmer months, said Recreation Department Director Peter Centola. It is part of the plan for the renovation of Casey Park on Watertown Street.

The ice would be surrounded by board with a chain-link fence on top, rather than plexiglas, said Glen Howard of design firm CDM presented the plans to the Town Council Tuesday night.

"It would be about half the length and 75 percent the width of the rink used by the (NHL's Boston) Bruins," Howard said.

Town Councilor Angeline Kounelis worried that people might get hurt if they hit the poles holding up the chain-link fence. Safety was a concern for Town Council President Mark Sideris, too.

"The problem I have is security," Sideris said. "It has fences aroudn it, but it doesn't look like it goes all the way around. I don't want people climbing over at 10 o'clock at night and getting hurt."

Improvements also include upgrading the tennis courts, and the lights for the whole park, including the little league baseball field, Centola said. A new scoreboard would be installed for baseball, too. The parking lot at Casey Field would also be improved, Howard said.

The estimated costs of the project is $537,000, Centola said.

The project was planned to be completed in Fiscal 2013, accoding to the town's five-year capital plan, but Town Manager Michael Driscoll said it may be done this year. He wants to bid it at the same time as the – the former Browne School Playground – so they may get a better price for economy of scale.

John MacNeill March 02, 2012 at 11:09 AM
Another unecessary capital project? While we still can't afford to pay our teachers?
K Coyne March 02, 2012 at 03:06 PM
I would like to see the current indoor Rink(Ryan) taken care of via a Board of Trustees(like the library)…currently I’m not really sure how it is run(one person manages it?)..do we own the rink or does the MDC..very unclear to me. That rink is in need of some Capital project $$. I don’t think adding an ice/rink –roller blade rink would be a bad idea but I don’t want to be making more loan payments(we are already making on Victory Field) when we need more teachers. I would love to see the Town Council with a list of priorities for capital projects. If they plan on using the field space at Casey then I would be totally against it! Watertown already has a problem with field space allocation for field sports! We would be paving over yet another one of our only green spaces! Also, wouldn't the outdoor rink need to be supervised?(another salary!).
Peter Centola March 02, 2012 at 07:56 PM
The Watertown Recreation Department will be hosting its monthly "Open Forum" meeting on Tuesday, March 6th from 6:00 to 7:00 in the Lower Hearing Room of the Town Hall. This is an opportunity for community members to learn about upcoming items of interest associated with the Recreation Department and to voice their opinion in an appropriate and upfront manner. If that time does not work for you, please feel free to contact the department at 617-972-6494 to schedule a meeting. Regards, Peter Centola Director of Recreation
John MacNeill March 02, 2012 at 08:38 PM
I'm posting under my own name, not sure what's not "up front" about that. Wasting a half-a-million on another unecessary capital project is absurd. We are not Belmont, we can't compete with Belmont. And we shouldn't want to.
RubyTuesday March 03, 2012 at 01:45 AM
Watertown has roads to fix and schools to improve. I don't want to see $500K spent on an outdoor ice rink , especially after this "winter".

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