Pin It
A community-wide effort to raise funds needed to fully enclose the Cass Park Arena has begun under the auspices of the Friends of the Ithaca Youth Bureau (FIYB), the nonprofit organization that exists to facilitate support for the Ithaca Youth Bureau (IYB), announced FIYB President Jeff Love and IYB Director Liz Vance.

The Cass Park Campaign's goal of $1 million supports upgrades that will retain the arena's traditional charm while making the city-owned and managed facility more sustainable and successful, according to Mary Grainger, FIYB volunteer who is coordinating the fundraising effort. "Cass Park is now a four-season community resource that was first opened in 1972 as an open-air ice rink," said Grainger, who encourages everyone who has benefited from its almost 45 years of "fun, fitness and friendships" to participate in the campaign.

On Wednesday, May 4, the Cass Park Campaign and the FIYB are participating in Giving Is Gorges. It is a community-wide campaign celebrating the spirit of philanthropy in our area by uniting people who live in Tompkins County with causes they care deeply about.

Cass Park Manager Jim Dalterio is currently overseeing the roof and ceiling renovation project funded by the City of Ithaca and expected to be completed in June.  This important project was needed first for the health and safety of arena users during all seasons, and also necessary before an enclosure could be built.

Dalterio describes how much more efficient operations will be once enclosed, and how he anticipates increased economic impact once Cass Park can extend the ice skating season and improve seating for spectators. While there are many advantages of a functional enclosure, he is committed to maintaining the iconic character and traditional charm.

In 2016, Cass Park Arena is the only open air rink remaining in upstate New York. The enclosure will provide: dehumidified "conditioned" air; ventilation, insulation, and adaptations for climate change; longer season for ice surface; improved conditions for spectators and skaters; and additional opportunities for rental income year-round. After the enclosure project is funded, there is a vision for an addition to the lobby and new locker rooms.

Grainger says, "It's time for community at large to be supportive of the capital improvements needed for this facility so access can continue for future generations and for today's users."

Pin It