Construction volunteers were able to erect the wall frames this past weekend and start on the roof to a new warming house under construction on the west side of Memorial Park in Madison.
The concrete foundation was laid down before the weekend, giving volunteers a good launching pad to put up the frame and start on the roof to a new warming house at Madison's Memorial Park.
Engaging Families, a subgroup of the local Leadership Madison program, has kept busy since spring 2012 collecting donations and making plans for the structure, which will stand on the south side of the park's ice rink.
The volunteer workers are building an 18x30-foot structure that will serve as a warming house for skaters playing on the Memorial Park ice rink and as an ice-skate rental shop.
Committee members from the 2011-12 Leadership Madison class adapted their project from a warming house/ice-skate rental project proposed by another group called Students In Free Enterprise, or SIFE. The project's supporters believe that having the facility operating in Memorial Park will encourage families to spend time together with an outside activity.
During the fund-raising period of the project, Engaging Families was also raising money to purchase about 100 pairs of ice skates that staff at the warming house would rent to park visitors. The group estimated that the ice skates would cost about $70 per pair, requiring purchase funds amounting from $7,000 to $9,000.
The supporters of the community-service project also proposed that city officials could let summertime park visitors use the structure as a picnic shelter.
When the project was first proposed to the Madison City Commission, Engaging Families members asked for assistance from the city Electric Department in connecting the warming house to the municipal electric grid. They also asked the commissioners if the city would supervise the staffing of the shelter after it is fully constructed and operating.