Wednesday August 11, 2021 6:00 a.m.
It might seem like an odd time to bring this up, but with the start of the high school athletic season looming, I didn’t want any more time left before tackling it.
The Winona Lake ice rink is not a good idea… it’s a good idea!
I started getting emails from friends who pointed out letters to the editor of that same publication that were critical of the town of Winona Lake and anyone associated with the rink.
The beauty of America has always been that you can think whatever you want and say pretty much whatever you want, even if it might not be 100% factual.
So people like me have an obligation to know what the truth is and to share it with those who don’t know or don’t understand. It is a basic basis for being in the media, even if it is hardly followed any more.
So I read what some of you have written about the ice rink going up to Winona Lake, and some of your objections are false.
For example, the land on which the ice rink is built was not public land. He belonged to the Miller family, yes, to that Miller family.
Also, I have heard that it is disrespectful to build anything on the site of the old Billy Sunday Tabernacle. I would like to remind those who think that the Tabernacle was demolished a long time ago. It has been a grassy lawn since 1992, that is to say 30 years. The famous evangelist is probably not too worried about it since he has been in Heaven since 1935.
And, on top of that, the exterior of the building will have a striking resemblance to the Sunday Tabernacle.
Oh, and about the site, the rest of that space on the east side of Park Avenue is still really big for people to occupy themselves with reading, listening to their reading list, taking a nap on a blanket or whatever. ‘they choose. Among those who are supposed to mourn the loss of this green space are the students of Grace College. They are supposed to be disappointed to have the grasslands stolen from them to study and spend their free time.
Except that they are not.
In fact, the Grace College website has a full web page on the new building. He described its location in relation to campus and uses the construction of the ice rink as a selling point to potential students.
Remember that students arrive at the end of August. It’s hot enough to stay outside until mid-October. It might heat up for a few days in April, but they were gone the second week of May. The reality is that most of the time that Grace’s students are here on campus, it is cold.
This rink offers these students, and the rest of us, an indoor activity when the weather does not allow outdoor activities.
Oh, and then there’s the money.
Because there is a segment of our community who thinks spending a dime on anything is outrageous, let’s get going now. I have to note here that most of these same people can never be convinced that a project is worth spending on it, so I’m just going to state some facts and let you sort it out.
The K-21 Foundation came to city leaders a few years ago with the idea of building the ice rink, and they participated in the first or so 23% of the total price of $ 6.5 million.
A company is building the building and will teach locals how to operate it, then hand it over to Lake Winona. Users will pay for ongoing maintenance and servicing.
You probably don’t remember it, but I said in one of my columns a few years ago that if I had the money I would develop an ice rink here, and I explained the reasons for it.
It’s a great way to exercise. It’s a fun thing to do for families, especially small children. It is a way for the city to generate income in a non-traditional way during a time of the year when tourism is at its lowest.
And (here’s my favorite part), they plan to use the building as a multi-purpose structure, not just an ice rink. Think about all the things that are happening in the village that make people lose sleep because they are dependent on the right weather. Now there is a place to have a music festival if storms threaten. Or concerts. Or weddings. Or conventions. Or Taste of Kosciusko. Or a nautical and sports show. Or whatever they want to have inside in a bigger space than the one offered down the street.
I am excited about this building and all it could be, and all it can do for us. All of us.
Yes, even those who don’t like it.
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