Holland Receives $800K Grant Toward Community Ice Rink
Article By: Cassandra Lybrink
Photo By: Holland Sentinel
Holland's community ice rink has received yet another financial boost, as $800,000 from Michigan's Revitalization and Placemaking Program has been earmarked for the project.
The grant comes from the Michigan Economic Development Fund, according to a release.
“I am excited to see this highly anticipated project moving forward,” State Rep. Nancy DeBoer (R-Holland) wrote in a statement. “I have supported Frank Kraai’s generous vision and the development of Window on the Waterfront since I was on (Holland City Council) and throughout my time as mayor of Holland. ... It’s great to have the state’s support in helping bring the project to fruition for the community.”
Frank Kraai — a former elementary school teacher, principal and volunteer in the community — jumpstarted the ice rink campaign when he wrote a check for $1 million to the city for the project in 2022. The city received another $1 million donation from the Jim Jurries Family in December.
Holland has explored potential locations and designs for a public ice-skating park since 1997, eventually identifying Window on the Waterfront — with a wide breadth of amenities, including flower beds, athletic fields, a boardwalk and a new playscape — as the ideal location.
Kraai's initial gift launched implementation of the plan, including several community listening sessions. During an October 2022 meeting, Holland City Council approved an agreement with the Community Foundation of the Holland/Zeeland Area for the acceptance and administration of charitable funds to support the project, in addition to agreements with GMB Architecture and Engineering and GDK Construction.
City staff have proposed a state-of-the-art ice rink featuring a "ribbon" design, with real ice that will be refrigerated to extend the skating season, skate rentals, a curling area at the request of Kraai (who is a great fan of the sport) and an accessory building.
A key point is making the development a multi-use space — something that can be utilized year-round.
DeBoer claims the rink will be one of the largest in North America, and will accommodate at least 300 skaters at once without overcrowding.
The Revitalization and Placemaking Program is an incentive program that deployed $100 million in American Rescue Plan Act funding to address the impact of COVID-19 on local communities. The recent distribution is the second round of funding available to West Michigan.
Not far from Holland, the city of Fennville will receive $112,500 for a downtown amphitheater.
“This funding speaks to the power of collaboration in strengthening places and spaces across the West Michigan region,” Lakeshore Advantage President Jennifer Owens wrote in a statement. “Vibrant city spaces are a crucial component to attracting and retaining the people who live and work here, and who keep our economy strong.”
To learn more see: The Holland Sentinel Article