The plans for a Goleta ice rink skated closer toward completion last week when the city’s Design Review Board met with the rink’s developers on Tuesday to discuss the way the building will look.
“We’re really excited to be here,” said Parker Anderson, chair of the Greater Santa Barbara Ice Skating Association (GSBISA), the nonprofit organization responsible for the project. Saying that the facility is on its “final lap” after a couple of “false starts” — Goleta adopted the plan for the rink in 1997 — Anderson stressed how important the rink will be for locals. “It’s a recreational facility for the citizens of the community that’s affordable,” he said. The arena, he also noted, will be the first rink west of the Mississippi River built to accommodate physically disabled athletes.
The skating facility — to be named “Ice in Paradise” and located at 6985 Santa Felicia Drive near the Camino Real Marketplace — will offer two rinks as well as a snack bar, a rec room, and lockers. Accessible by elevator, a second mezzanine level will allow people to watch the skaters and hockey players. Because the ice has to be kept from melting — the building, the developers said, will be a perpetual 52 degrees — there will be no windows installed on the south side of the structure. Outside, grass and palm trees will add some greenery.
Although members of the Design Review Board (DRB) expressed their satisfaction with seeing the project reach this stage, they did offer the developers some advice as to the facility’s aesthetics. While the developers said that the exterior will look similar to the other buildings in the Camino Real Marketplace — with trellises, earth-toned paint colors, and stonework — some DRB members suggested the facility’s entrance be more embellished and representative of the building’s function.
“This is about play,” said DRB member Cecilia Brown.”It just needs to be fun. There’s no fun to this building. Lighten [it up] in the sense that you make it more interesting to look at.”
Carl Schneider, an architect and DRB member, agreed with his colleague that more could be done but recognized the financial constraints. “In a perfect world, the budget would be unlimited,” he said. “There are a lot of things that could be done to this building.”
Mark Linehan, the developer of Camino Real Marketplace who donated the land for the rink to GSBISA, stressed the importance of being economical, saying that it was important to be “as frugal as we can so that the people can use it” and not have construction costs passed on to them.
In the meantime, the developers will take the suggestions made by the DRB and look for ways to address the aesthetic concerns. They will all meet again on May 22 to further discuss those elements of the project.