A new skating rink is on the horizon for Fort Scott.
“This project came from community discussion about a need for more kid-friendly activities,” said Allyson Turvey, Fort Scott Tourism and Community Development Manager. “Memorial Hall was used as a roller rink back in the ’80s, so the initial idea was really just to give that another go. It will benefit the community’s youth, and will hopefully draw families from the larger region as well. ”
“Originally we had hoped to use Memorial Hall, but the cost to resurface the floor is simply too high,” she said. “So for now we are focusing our attention on the old gym at Buck Run. Ideally if this goes well we could eventually look to investing in the floor of Memorial Hall since it is a larger venue.”
Turvey is the project leader.
“Leah Bowman has helped a lot with research,” she said. “But this project simply wouldn’t be possible without the tremendous amount of community support we’ve received”
“Craig Campbell and Angie Rhodes Kemmerer along with her class have been heavily involved in the planning, and have also thrown out many ideas we had not considered. It’s also fantastic to have a project with not just community involvement, but student involvement. Students are excited and working really hard to make this thing a success.”
Logistics such as staffing, insurance needs, and safety requirements are being considered.
“But we really have two priorities at this point, the rink itself, and the skates,” Turvey said. ” Without these pieces locked down, we won’t be able to move forward. We’ve now decided on the ideal location, so we need to find the skates. The cost to purchase enough skates to run this type of facility isn’t really feasible, so Angie and Craig have put us in touch with roller skate rental companies. We’re hopeful to have a solution for skates soon.”
The skating rink project is for the area youth.
“The target population for the rink is of course local youth,” she said. “It’s been a widely held opinion that Fort Scott needs more activities for kids. This will certainly meet that objective. The students that have been helping with the project are really excited about the possibilities and have lots of ideas of how we can make it successful.”
“Our goal is to make this happen by the beginning of the year,” Turvey said. ” We do have logistics that will need to be worked out very quickly. And as I mentioned the whole project currently hinges on securing roller skates”.
What is the cost to the city?
“At this point, I don’t have an exact cost estimate to offer, but the use of Buck Run will allow for fairly low startup costs,” she said. ” Use of Memorial Hall for this project would have required a significant initial investment. We don’t feel this is a feasible solution at this time, and are working to make this project as cost effective as possible.”