GROVE CITY — Ice skating on the pond at Grove City Memorial Park might become more than just a memory.

“It’s been really well received,” Jonathan DiBenedetto said of the idea.

The Grove City man spoke during public comment at Thursday night’s council meeting to explain that he and other residents were wondering if the borough would be able to bring ice skating back to the park.

It’s been many years since the pond near the park’s main entrance was used for ice skating.

It’s a good activity for all ages, especially during the winter, said DiBenedetto, who built an ice skating rink in his yard soon after his family moved from Colorado about five years ago.

There aren’t many options in the Grove City area for activities like ice skating, he added, presenting council with a petition containing more than 200 signatures in support of the idea.

The rink measures 30 by 50 feet and is on a dead end and has become a neighborhood gathering spot for skating, hockey and socializing. Ice skates have been donated over the years.

He’s picturing something similar for the park but on a larger scale and offered to help with the project if it moves forward.

DiBenedetto works in maintenance and operations at Grove City College, where he coaches ice hockey and roller hockey. He also enjoys playing.

The ice on the pond has to be at least 4 inches thick to support skaters. The deepest part of the pond is about 4 feet.

A hole is drilled into the ice to take the measurement, and the park could include a sign that indicates whether it’s safe to skate, he said.

Borough officials could connect with regional skating rinks to see how they handle things like liability insurance.

It wouldn’t take much work to maintain, and the pond is an easy solution since a free-standing rink would be expensive, DiBenedetto said.

Mary Kay Mattocks, borough council president, said that the borough discontinued ice skating because of liability concerns.

“It was definitely the place to be,” she said.

Mayor Randy Riddle remembers having fun playing hockey on the pond.

Residents approached council about six years ago to try and revive ice skating; discussions included a portable rink, but plans did not materialize, said Vance Oakes, borough manager.

The issue can be taken to the parks and recreation committee and the borough can consult with its insurance carrier, Mattocks said.

She put another option on the table — when the basketball court was built at the park, a lip was added to the perimeter with the idea of turning the surface into an ice skating rink by adding just 2 inches of water.

“It never happened,” she said.

Some of the lip is still there. DiBenedetto is interested in learning more about that option.

The borough is always trying to find ways to bring people to the park, so council appreciates the interest, Mattocks said.

DiBenedetto is looking forward to continuing the discussion, which he said got its start on social media thanks to Chrissy Hayes, who started the petition on

He was encouraged by council’s reception to the idea, DiBenedetto said on Saturday at home; he was joined by his wife Lauren and their children, Azaria, 10, Luca, 6, and Boaz, 8.

The rink is made of wooden boards and a large tarp, and it takes a few days to freeze over once filled with water if the weather cooperates.

A very thin layer of ice was forming on Saturday morning, and the rink itself is dismantled during the warmer months.

The kids like having their own rink but think that a bigger one at the park would a lot of fun.

“That would be cool,” Azaria said.

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