Ice skating rink in Riverhead still needs ice

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | The roller skating rink at Stotzky Park is ready to become an ice skating rink, if only the temperatures dip to allow the water to freeze.

Ice skating rink! Take Two!

Riverhead Town’s recreation department filled the roller skating rink at Stotzky Park this week with water in hopes of turning it into an ice skating rink when the weather gets cold enough.

That is, if the weather gets cold enough.

In mid-January last year, the rink was filled with water and ready to go, but the weather never got cold enough to produce ice, and no one ever actually ice skated on the makeshift ice rink.

The town paid about $5,000 for the portable ice rink, which basically is a liner, much like a swimming pool liner, along with some PVC piping, according to recreation superintendent Ray Coyne. It’s filled with a few inches of water, and officials are now waiting for that water to freeze.

“We’ve got water in it now,” Mr. Coyne said. “We kind of hope if gets cold at some point. Last year it did not get cold at all. This year, we hear it might get cold next week, and that’s what we’re hoping for.”

Temperatures are forecast near 50 degrees through the weekend. The ice needs to be below freezing temperature for several days in a row in order to get thick enough to skate on, he said.

“The plan is to leave it up until March, unless the weather is still freezing in March and we have ice,” Mr. Coyne said. “Then we’ll leave it up.”

Roller hockey groups usually rent the rink at least once a week, but they will be unable to do while the ice rink is in place, Mr. Coyne said.

Ice hockey also won’t be allowed on the rink, should it get cold enough to be an ice rink, he added.

“It will be just for free skating,” he said. “It will be open to the public, just as if you were skating on a pond. We’re not going to rent or sell skates. Just bring your own skates and skate on it like it was an open pond.”

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