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$74M Lakeside Complex Brings Year-Round Skating to Prospect Park

By Leslie Albrecht | December 18, 2013 8:59am
 The Lakeside Center opened on Dec. 17, 2013.
Prospect Park Welcomes $74 Million Skating Complex
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PARK SLOPE — There's a new home for ice hockey in Brooklyn, and it's not the Barclays Center.

Prospect Park unveiled its Lakeside complex on Tuesday, cutting the ribbon on two skating rinks that will welcome hockey players and ice skaters in the winter and roller skaters during warmer weather.

"Prospect Park is one of our city’s great treasures and today, it is growing even more spectacular,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg said in a statement.  “This 26-acre restoration of Lakeside builds on the park's natural beauty and helps restore the park’s original vision."

The rinks are just one part of a $74 million restoration that spruced up a little-visited corner of the park, near Parkside and Ocean avenues. The revamp, which took four years to complete, included transforming an original park feature called Music Island into a bird habitat.

The skating complex will be open year-round and will have a café and a water play area for families to use in the spring and summer. Admission to the rinks will be $6 during the week and $8 on weekends. Skate rental will be $5.

The complex officially doesn't officially open to the public until Dec. 20, but some school kids were invited to test drive one of the new rinks for Tuesday's ceremony.

Many were high-performing students from the Brooklyn Academy of Science and the Environment in Prospect Heights. The top 10 students from each grade were invited to the inaugural skate as a reward for their hard work, said guidance counselor Mervyn Roach.

"It's going to be incredible — it gives kids another experience," Roach said of the new skating complex.

But some less experienced skaters said it will take them a while to master the slick ice.

"It looks easy before doing it," said ninth-grader Esther Ogunwale, who wiped out in the rink, "But it's actually hard."