City officials broke ground on a new ice skating rink Friday.
The new rink, which is located next to the Veterans Memorial Skating Rink on Somerville Avenue, will be about two-thirds the size of its neighbor, and it will allow for more skating opportunities for Somerville residents and people in the region, according to city officials.
Speaking at the groundbreaking, Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone said there's a growing interest in youth hockey in the city, and the new rink will help meet that need.
Ward 2 Alderman Maryann Heuston said, "This is going to end up being a recreational hub for the entire city, and even the region."
The rink will cost about $3.2 to build, and Curtatone said, "There is a complex and very innovative" funding structure to the project. It includes a $100,000 donation from Federal Realty Investment Trust, the team behind the Assembly Square development, and projected revenues from rink fees, in addition to a deal with Clear Channel that will involve digitizing some billboards in Somerville and getting rid of other billboards, the mayor said.
The new rink "will be self-sustaining and self-sufficient," he said.
The Maguire Group donated its services to Somerville to design the rink; Delulis Brothers Construction is building it, and Northeast Rink Systems is installing the ice surface. The new rink is expected to be complete in winter, 2012.