LRS Ice Rink opens to skaters at the Old State Capitol in Springfield

A new synthetic ice rink opened for skaters for the first time on Saturday.

Dozens have tried the Ice LRS Rink – the first public outdoor skating rink in downtown Springfield in 20 years. The ice rink, on the lawn of the Old State Capitol, 526 E. Adams St., is a partnership between the Sangamon CEO class (Creating Entrepreneurial Opportunities) and the building trades class of the Capital region career center.

Brothers Presley and Remington Dent, both aged 9 and 4 respectively, were among the first skaters on the ice following a groundbreaking ceremony on Saturday morning. They each fell several times, but their mother, Anna Dent, watched from outside the rink and made sure they could still get up.

“The most exciting thing for me is having ice skating, especially for the kids. That’s what it’s all about, getting more people downtown, really activating this space, ”Springfield mayor said. Jim Langfelder, who helped her young granddaughter walk on the ice.

Lead host Benjamin Hage said synthetic ice replicates about 90% of the smoothness of regular ice, which means skaters move slower, which may benefit beginners. The whole platform is L-shaped with benches for skaters to put on their skates.

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Sangamon CEO’s students led the synthetic ice rink behind Scheels last season. The rink is just over 4,000 square feet, which is 25% larger than last season’s rink. In total, the 46 students of the class, supervised by iVenturED, participated in the commissioning of the makeshift ice rink.

“This year the students wanted to integrate more into this community and wanted to move downtown, so here we are,” Hage said.

Tickets for the ice rink can only be purchased online at sangamonceo.com/patinoire/. The rink is open from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Wednesdays and Fridays and from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.

Springfield Ward 5 Ald.  Lakeisha Purchase speaks with the students of the CEO of Sangamon (Creating Entrepreneurial Opportunities) ahead of the opening on Saturday of the synthetic ice rink on the lawn of the Old State Capitol.

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The last time Springfield had an outdoor rink downtown was in 2001, when the Springfield Recreation Department operated a temporary one in Union Square Park. Illinois Department of Natural Resources Staff said they found evidence of ice skating on the Old State Capitol lawn more than 150 years ago.

Steven Spearie contributed to this report. Contact Riley Eubanks: [email protected], twitter.com/@rileyeubanks.



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