Jack Z. Smith Special Projects Reporter Fort Worth Business Press
The opening of a new outdoor ice skating rank, on the north edge of downtown Fort Worth, is barely more than two weeks away. Shanna Cate, planning and development manager for the Trinity River Vision Authority, told TRVA board members at their Wednesday meeting that the rink operator “will come in next week and start putting in the rink and the infrastructure.” A Conroe-based company, Ice Rink Events, is to operate the rink, dubbed Panther Island Ice, which is being billed as the first commercial outdoor ice skating rink in Fort Worth. Plans for the rink were first announced in early October.
The rink will be at a site adjoining the Coyote Drive-In movie theater at 223 N.E. 4th St., on the city’s near north side, under an agreement with the TRVA. The theater is a short distance south of a large parking lot used for a variety of activities, including Fort Worth Cats baseball games at LaGrave Field. Ice Rink Events also operates a rink at Discovery Green, a popular 12-acre urban park in downtown Houston. The seasonal operation in Fort Worth will run through Jan. 5. The rink plans to charge regular admission of $10, with a discounted charge of $8 for students and active military personnel and reservists.
The rink will be kept icy by equipment including chillers. Information about the Fort Worth rink operation is now available at www.pantherislandice.com.
The TRVA board also approved the award of a contract to Randall Stout Architects of Los Angeles for nearly $1.65 million for the design of four pedestrian bridges as part of the Trinity Uptown project, a massive $909.9 million flood control and economic development project led by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The TRVA is a unit of the Tarrant Regional Water District, a key local participant in the project. Jenna Brummett, assistant project manager for the TRVA, said the construction cost for the pedestrian bridges is tentatively estimated at $11.5 million. With the design expense included, the total cost would be more than $13.1 million. The four bridges include upper and lower bridges at a South Channel portion and upper and lower bridges at a North Channel portion of the Uptown project. A major component of the project will be the construction of a 1.5-mile bypass channel designed to stabilize Trinity River water levels and enable construction of extensive waterfront residential and commercial development in a bedraggled old 800-acre industrial area just north of downtown. The design work for the pedestrian bridges is expected to be completed in about a year.