HOLLAND — Holland City Council took several important steps toward breaking ground on a dream-fulfilling ice rink at Window on the Waterfront during its meeting Wednesday, Oct. 19.
“This is fun,” said City Manager Keith Van Beek. “We have dreamed about this particular project … we’ve been imagining the place for this ice rink for years. I still remember talking about this probably a couple of months after I started.
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“We’re putting all the pieces together (with) the fundraising, getting the final construction drawings and really getting this to the point where we can turn dirt next year — this is a major step in that element tonight, and we’re excited.”
During the meeting, 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.
“The vision you see before you is really the community’s dream,” Assistant City Manager Matt VanDyken told council. “Now, we’re at a point where those dreams become reality.”
The agreement with GMB to design and create construction documentation includes subcontractor B32 Engineering, which specializes in ice rinks. The agreement is $473,000, plus up to $37,000 in reimbursable expenses.
“This is not a cheap contact,” VanDyken said. “But this is not a small project, either. This is, I think, going to be a gem in the heart of downtown.”
The agreement with GDK for construction management services includes a pre-construction fee not to exceed $23,650, a 3.4 percent fee on the cost of construction and site supervision of $4,450 per week.
Frank Kraai — a former elementary school teacher, principal and serial volunteer in the community — jumpstarted the ice rink campaign when he wrote a check for $1 million to the city for the project earlier this year.
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“The bank came to me and said, ‘Frank, I think we can call you a millionaire,'” he told The Sentinel in April. “And I said ‘No, no, that’s a fancy term, I don’t have that kind of money. And if I do have that money, I’m going to give it away.'”
City staff have proposed a state-of-the-art ice rink featuring a “ribbon” design, with real ice that will be refrigerated to extend skating season, skate rentals, a curling area at the request of Kraai, who is a great fan of the sport, and an accessory building.
The city is also exploring a trolley loop that would connect “gems” downtown — including Eighth Street, Window on the Waterfront, Windmill Island Gardens, the Civic Center and Hope College.
— Contact editor Cassandra Lybrink at clybrink@hollandsentinel.com. Follow her on Twitter @CassLybrink.

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