After three years of research, design and discussion, the Kamloops Outdoor Skating Association (KOSA) is still waiting on a final decision whether or not their proposed outdoor rink will see development.
“We’re cautiously optimistic,” said James Gordon, one of the three members of KOSA.
The plan to develop a centralized community-oriented outdoor rink has been a conversation in the community for a few years now. KOSA believes the project would be a great way for the community to come together through free public skating and ice hockey.
After a $50,000 research project was launched in February, the city of Kamloops has been looking into the logistics of such a project, including its potential location, which the city has narrowed down to the North Shore or the South Shore at Riverside Park.
The speculated Riverside Park development could be a part of a future overhaul that is in the early stages of planning for the park. City parks manager Jeff Putnam has called for improvements on flood control, raised sidewalks, better food truck accommodation and widened pathways for greater accessibility.
Putnam also named dropped the outdoor rink as a potential development for Riverside, which tells KOSA members that city is thinking about them.
Even though there was no set decision as to if the rink would be built, Gordon shared his dream for what the rink would look like, referencing public input of a warming hut, change rooms, music and lighting that came from a suggestion board at a downtown event in the spring of 2018. Gordon stressed the importance of planning such a rink in phase-like fashions, leaving the possibility for expansion open and inviting.
“We have the opportunity to make a fabulous rink, let’s make it an attraction,” Gordon said. “Visitors are going to come to it, spend a night in a hotel, locals are going to love it. Let’s make it something special.”
The City of Kamloops has told KOSA that’d they’d see a final report by the end of the year, which would include a cost for the proposed refrigerated rink. Gordon told The Omega that if the City opens the discussion to the public, he’d like to see more people come out and express their thoughts and support to make something great for Kamloops.