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Skating on Thin Ice

Goleta Ice Rink Plans Frozen


She said that the entire project will cost 6-8M even though the website says they have 2.1 out of the 8 Million. Also, the architect David Van Hoy had notified me that the price has been fluctuating with every plan that has come across, she said she felt as if she were misrepresented in the ordeal. Is there any way I can fix this?

Santa Barbara’s endless list of recreational activities may-or may not-have a new addition that has been a long time coming.

When the county approved plans to build the Camino Real Marketplace in 1997, the Wynmark Company, owner of the shopping center, donated a portion of land that was supposed to be used as a center for recreation. Wynmark’s Mark Linehan said that after considering many options and initiating feasibility studies on them, he concluded that constructing an ice rink “looked like the right thing to do.” In late 2001, Linehan said, the land was granted to the Greater Santa Barbara Ice Skating Association (GSBISA)-a nonprofit founded to raise money for the project.

In anticipation of this ice in paradise, the Wynmark Company has now finished installing the utilities and parking lot necessary for the construction ahead. The rink was designed by David Van Hoy-one of the head designers for the Camino Real Marketplace and Girsh Park-in collaboration with Blackbird Architects Inc. to join the ranks of only a handful of energy-efficient ice rinks that have been built globally. Besides using LED lighting and a heating system to recycle heat to the off-ice areas, the facility’s saw-tooth roof will have north-facing windows to allow natural light in while preventing direct sunlight to penetrate and heat the ice. All of this decreases the facility’s energy consumption.

Unfortunately, nonprofit organizers have not yet been able to raise the $6 to $8 million that the project was projected to cost, casting some doubt on whether it will in fact be possible to build an ice rink in sunny Goleta. The fundraisers have raised $2.1 million, according to Marietta Jablonka, administrator for GSBISA.

Ice rinks are expensive to build and maintain. I really feel as though the resources should be allocated toward other, more pressing issues,” said Goleta resident Ryan Darby, a business major at SBCC. “As a resident of the area, I’m concerned with the effect this rink will have in a community prone to electrical blackouts.”

Despite these sentiments, Jablonka said she feels sure that the project will be a success due to the enthusiastic feedback she has received from the community. She referred to the results of a poll that showed a great following for indoor activities not only in this community, she said, but statewide. “I have been receiving emails from students nationwide who are taking ice rinks into consideration when applying to colleges,” Jablonka said. If an ice palace is constructed, architects have planned for it to hold one full-size rink for games and special events, and a smaller rink, about half the size of a regular rink, to host lessons and parties.

As for the energy concerns, Southern California Edison media representatives responded that “the area has many energy-intensive buildings, so the ice rink may or may not drain more power during periods of high-energy consumption.” One representative offered assurance that the blackouts that have recently rolled through parts of Goleta and Isla Vista were purely the result of the spate of wildfires. “When there is a fire that burns under the transmission lines up in the Santa Barbara area, it can cause service interruptions,” he said.

This story has been amended to accord with fundraisers' most recent assessment of the total project cost.

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