Whatever your memories of Riverview Ice House may be, from playing hockey to skating with friends to crunching your tailbone after a clumsy fall (that's mine), it's nice to know you'll be able to make more.

2020 has seen the Rockford Park District having to make some very tough choices for the future of some of their properties, like the closing of Elliot Golf Course after 50-plus years of operation.

The Riverview Ice House was seemingly very, very close to a fate similar to Elliot Course, but the 45 year old building has gotten the financial equivalent of a last-minute call from the governor to halt a death sentence from being carried out.

Laura Gibbs-Green, Communications Manager for the Rockford Park District, pointed out in a press release last night that around $6 million was needed to "completely replace the mechanical/refrigeration system, hockey boards, and glass along with completing additional renovations needed throughout the facility."

With Riverview on the Park District's chopping block, some local groups and individuals with a long-standing affinity for the Riverview Ice House got themselves involved in the search for solutions (and most importantly, money) to keep the ice house not only open, but renovated for a healthy future.

The Rockford Park District, in a Facebook post, gives credit to Illinois State Senator Steve Stadelman for his role in securing an Illinois Capital Grant, and to Heather and Peter Provenzano and the Koch family for their incredibly generous financial pledges.

In a year where we've seen far too many beloved establishments of every type struggle to keep themselves afloat (and many have failed to do so), it's great to see this type of community engagement and creative cooperation come to a successful conclusion.


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