Jewish Community Center Installs Ice Skating Rink

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio –  A new synthetic-ice skating rink at the Jewish Community Center of Youngstown’s Gypsy Lane campus will provide a new option for outdoor recreation.

“It’s needed now more than ever,” said Laura Weymer, director of health and wellness. “People need a place to go that is healthy and safe for getting some exercise.”

The 80-by-40-foot rink will open to JCC members Dec. 23, and to the general public Jan. 7. Admission to the rink will be free and open to the public. Guests can bring their own skates, or rent them for $4 ($3 for JCC members).

The rink, which is behind the JCC building at 505 Gypsy Lane, is made by Glice, a Swiss company. Smooth white surface tiles form the base, with dasher boards around it. A liquid is then spread over the surface that makes it slippery. The synthetic ice remains slick in all weather and temperatures.

The rink will remain up until at least March 28. “We might leave it up all year,” said Emelia Sherin, the Jewish Community Center’s program coordinator. “We’ll gauge the interest in it at the time.”

The JCC is talking with hockey coaches to see if there is a need  to keep the rink open in the summer, Sherin said.

The rink was originally scheduled to open Nov. 28 and close Feb. 28, but the spike in COVID-19 cases forced the delay, Weymer said.

Those who skate will be required to wear a face covering. The rink will be limited to 30 skaters per one-hour session.

The JCC has also installed a Glice curling court next to the rink. Players stand outside the court and therefore do not need to wear skates.

In curling, players use brooms to guide a slow moving stone down the ice and make it stop in a circle, while the opposing team tries to knock the stone out of the circle.

“We’re looking to do a couple of curling demonstration nights in January and start a league in February,” Sherin said. Curling matches will take place on Thursdays.

After the rink opens to the public, it will have regular hours of 4 to 8 p.m. Thursdays and Friday; and noon to 8 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Visitors will be asked to register in advance at JCCYoungstown.org, but will be admitted if space permits.

The area behind the JCC already has a pavilion, a playground and pickleball courts. Tents have already been put up that will serve as a warming area and concession stand with hot foods and beverages during skating sessions.

The area is also lighted and has a sound system.

Talk of putting in the rink began before the pandemic, Weymer said, and came to fruition thanks to some funding the JCC received. She did not reveal the cost of the rink.

Sponsorship opportunities, in which companies or organizations can have a sign placed on the rink’s dasher boards, are available. Prices range from $5,000 to $100. Call Nic Bush at 330 746 3250 ext. 114.

Pictured: Emelia Sherin, program coordinator for the Jewish Community Center, and Laura Weymer, director of health and wellness, in front of the Jewish Community Center of Youngstown’s new skating rink.

Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.