After 11 years of fundraising the Greater Santa Barbara Ice Skating Association (GSBISA) announced on Nov. 6 that its state-of-the-art ice skating rink in Goleta, Ice in Paradise, is set to break ground later this month. The projected completion date is September 2015.
Set on 1.3 acres of land that was donated by an affiliate of the Wynmark Co., the 46,500-sq.-ft. facility will be located at the corner of Santa Felicia Drive and Storke Road in Goleta next toGirsh Park. Upon completion Ice in Paradise will include a regulation-sized NHL rink (200-ft. x 85-ft.) and a 100-ft. x 60-ft. junior rink. The facility will also include six team locker rooms, a figure skating room, specially equipped adaptive sports locker room, food concessions and 700 pair of rental skates for general skating sessions. In addition, a homework center onsite will provide wireless internet and a quiet place for students to concentrate on school work when they are not on the ice.
Ice in Paradise will serve the community as a permanent facility for year-round public recreation, figure skating and hockey for all ages and abilities. In addition, it will offer specialized programs such as adaptive ice sports for skaters with physical disabilities and mobility-impaired athletes and offer unique recreational opportunities and equipment such as sled hockey for Wounded Warriors. According to the GSBISA website, “Adaptive Ice Sports will be offered as the ice rink will be fully ADA accessible including locker rooms, specialized ramps to the ice, benches and viewing areas.” It is the first facility west of the Mississippi to be designed with full-service adaptive sports capabilities.
A skating school will offer varied classes through private instruction, to schools, service organizations, and youth programs. Public skating will offer rotating daily sessions for tots, teenagers, college groups, adults and seniors. Those with Olympic dreams of bringing home the gold can train with highly-experienced instructors to perfect their skills in figure or pairs skating and ice dancing. Do you have a need for speed? Ice in Paradise will offer youth and adult ice hockey programs and leagues with coaching, practice and pick-up sessions, tournaments and camps.
The community is encouraged to get involved and help with fundraising. Two programs, Buy a Brick and Naming Opportunities for locker rooms, main scoreboard, benches and more will kick off with groundbreaking efforts with a goal of raising an additional $1 million in donations over the next two years.
A 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, the mission of GSBISA is to construct and operate an affordable public ice skating sports and recreational facility in the community of Santa Barbara for people of all ages and skill levels to enjoy. To learn more about Ice in Paradise, watch a video on YouTube featuring supporter and actor Alan Thicke https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C3suq6StKS4.