A second skating rink in Nisswa means that hockey players and pleasure skaters will each have their own place to play on the ice.
The new 100-by-60 foot rink is located east of the current hockey rink at the Nisswa Community Center.
Terry Hansen, of Nisswa park maintenance, said that in previous years the city had formed a second rink by flooding a baseball diamond, but that rink had less room than the new one. By mounding six inches of infield material around the diamond, the parks department created a circle about 75 feet in diameter.
“It just wasn’t an easy fit for the amount of activity we had,” Hansen said.
The hockey rink gets a lot of traffic, Hansen said, so it was difficult to divide the main rink in half and have hockey on one side and skaters on the other.
“We were, over the last seven years, seeing the need for a bigger rink for skaters to be on,” Hansen said.
Paula Anderson, Nisswa Parks Director, said that this way skaters can have a space without worrying about a stray puck here or there.
The new rink also has a gate so the Zamboni has access. When the baseball field was flooded, the Zamboni couldn’t get onto the rink. Parks department staff would sweep the rink with a tractor attachment, then walk with a garden hose and towel to fill in the skate marks.
Abatement bonds passed by the city in the last year funded the rink, which fits together in pieces. The department has the option to take the rink apart over the summer if it wishes.
The abatement bond also funded lighting- there’s energy-efficient lighting on both rinks.
Hansen said the city’s warming house is open whenever the rink is open, and the city has skates the public can rent for free. Not every size is available, but the city has most common sizes in both figure skates and hockey skates.
Both rinks are open Saturday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday to Thursday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Fridays 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.