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A vision of new uses for Northampton public space

To the editor:

During a recent and brief conversation with Northampton Mayor David Narkewicz at a high school basketball game, I mentioned an idea for the Roundhouse area, where thankfully a hotel project never occurred.

How about constructing an ice-skating rink with a surrounding park area for the winter months?

This would certainly attract locals and visitors and undoubtedly would bring business downtown and promote physical fitness. Hockey leagues would flourish as well. During warmer weather, the rink could be turned into an outdoor stage with amphitheatre seating on the hill leading up to Pulaski Park.

Plays, concerts, dance performances and movies in such a space would bring people and business downtown as well. This would dovetail with the recent movement to revitalize the arts in Northampton. The surrounding park area would provide a bucolic setting that would add to the attractiveness of downtown. I can visualize art installations as well.

To make it “green,” both solar and wind energy sources could be utilized. This sounds expensive during harsh economic times. How about modeling this after the Green Bay Packers, where the facility would be community owned with shares sold and discounts provided for the shareholders?

What do people think ?

Bruce Weinraub


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