MCELHATTAN - Search the basements and garages for those ice skates. This winter, area residents will have the opportunity to participate in a favorite seasonal sport in Wayne Township.
"Build it and they will come," joked Arnold Coleman, township maintenance manager, and township Supervisor Jim Maguire, referring to the baseball-themed movie, "Field of Dreams."
Interestingly enough, the ice rink was created on the in-field of the baseball diamond behind Wayne Township Fire Co.
Standing in front of the pond are, from left, Wayne Township Supervisor Jim Maguire, Recreation committee members Doris Fritz, with her dog Lucky, and Marion Spong, and Arnold Coleman, a member of the township maintenance crew.
Since the frozen water will kill grass beneath it, officials strategically located the rink in the in-field... where any grass that grows is removed during baseball season.
"We purchased a liner usually used for the fracking process in the gas drilling industry," said Coleman. "A lot of work went into getting this project completed ... and we are thankful to everyone involved."
The only ice skating pond in the area was a collaborative effort by several township organizations such as the fire company, the landfill, the Clinton County Correctional Facility and more.
"This was a project we have been considering for some time now It's great to finally see it near completion," said Maguire.
The area was mapped out, measured and leveled. Mulch was laid, sandbags were filled and finally 30,000 to 35,000 gallons of water were added Tuesday night.
"We ran a hose from the fire hydrant on the corner, it took about four and a half to five hours to fill the 18 to 20 inches," said Coleman.
Overnight, the pond froze over and, weather permitting, will be fully frozen and ready for use this weekend.
The township is trying to make the pond as user friendly safe as possible.
"We will bring out garbage cans and plan to check up on it every morning," said Coleman. "We will plow the pond if necessary and there are charcoal burners around the pavilion for warming up after skating."
Interested skaters will be responsible for bringing their own ice skates and following all park rules.
"We would like to keep the pond open as long as we can weather permitting," said Doris Fritz, member of the Recreational Board. "Hopefully, its a big hit and we are able to do it again next year."