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Officials commemorate opening of ice rink at Franciscan Square

Andrew Grimm RIBBON CUTTING – Rita Carapellotti cuts the ribbon formally opening the new ice rink at Franciscan Square with the Rev. Shawn Roberson of the Franciscan University of Steubenville and Matt Grimshaw, CEO of Trinity Health System, Tuesday.

STEUBENVILLE – Area residents wishing to ice skate will not have to travel out of the area to do so this winter.

The Franciscan University of Steubenville cut the ribbon on a skating rink at Franciscan Square Tuesday, with several local officials in attendance.

The rink, which community relations director Mike Florak said came together in a matter of weeks, is sponsored by Trinity Health Systems among other local businesses and organizations.

“There are a lot of people that got this ball rolling quickly,” Florak said.

“This is a big day, not only for Franciscan University, but for our community,” Trinity Health System CEO Matt Grimshaw said. “I couldn’t be more proud. I truly believe that Trinity Health System and Franciscan University are uniquely positioned to reshape our community for the good.

“We can light the way for this community for years to come.

“Thank you for the vision for bringing an ice rink here. We think this is a great asset and will help really bring life and energy to Steubenville.”

State Senator Frank Hoagland shared a story about skating with the Buffalo Sabres to a crowd of University staff and local leaders and commended all parties for making it happen.

“Congratulations to Franciscan, you guys did an outstanding job,” he said. “Having the right people at the right place at the right time, you get the right effects. Congratulations to (Florak) and everybody else that was involved in the decision making of making something like this happen and bringing it to our little area here in Jefferson County, Steubenville, Ohio.”

Steubenville Mayor Jerry Barilla said the city desired to have an ice rink as part of the annual Nutcracker Village and welcomed the new attraction to the city.

“On behalf of the Steubenville city council, our city manager and the (mayor’s office), I would like to congratulate Franciscan University and Trinity Health System for providing this ice skating rink,” the mayor said. “Last year, at the Nutcracker Village, we were toying with the idea of having a skating rink downtown. The finances of it were a little bit too great for us so we passed on it, but thank God Trinity and the university got into this.

“This setting is one of the nicest settings to have an ice skating rink. You have food and drink right here, plenty of seating to view the skaters. It’s a great asset for our city.”

State Rep-elect Ron Ferguson talked about the excitement of having a rink in Steubenville, having grown up in the area.

“I’m very excited about this,” Ferguson said. “I grew up right up on the hill up here on Belleview Boulevard. I remember when skate land was right down the hill.

“Franciscan University always delivers for our community, the Carapellotti family always delivers for our community. We have a great opportunity here.”

Jefferson County Commissioner-elect Tony Morelli praised FUS and Trinity for their work in the community.

“For (the area), I think this is huge,” Morelli said. “I think it is another brick in the wall of this area, and we need to continue putting bricks in the wall.

“Somebody said, ‘Without Franciscan or Trinity, where would we be?’ Thanks to Franciscan and Trinity. Thanks to the Carapellotti family, they are always here, when somebody needs something, they step up.”

The skating rink will be open 4 to 10 p.m. Wednesday though Friday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturdays and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sundays through Feb. 14. The rink will be reserved for private rentals on Mondays and Tuesdays.

Skates will be available in all sizes. The cost to skate is $10, or $6 if one brings their own skates. Children three and under are free, while anyone 10 and under must be accompanied by an adult.

Masks are required and state health orders due to COVID-19 will be enforced. The rink will open at 50 percent capacity due to state mandates on outdoor gatherings and social distancing.

The rink will be maintained by Sports Galaxy.

The rink was formally blessed by the Rev. Shawn Roberson.

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