Proposed Jacobson Plaza at Falls Park would include ice skating ribbon, all-inclusive playground

Local News

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — A big project at a Sioux Falls park could bring more recreation opportunities for more people.

An ice skating ribbon and all-inclusive playground are proposed for Falls Park thanks to a public/private partnership.

The open area just north of the Levitt Shell could be transformed into the Jacobson Plaza at Falls Park.

The revamped space would include an ice ribbon that would allow for an extended skating season.

“Unlike our current rinks that we rely on mother nature to have them freeze so we could have good skating conditions, this would have a refrigeration unit attached,” City of Sioux Falls Parks and Recreation Director Don Kearney said.

Also in the plan: an all-inclusive playground.

“We have playgrounds that are ADA accessible, but we don’t have an all-inclusive playground that really appeals to those with a variety of different disabilities whether it be sight, whether it be hearing, the various different senses that may be challenged or have a disability,” Kearney said.

Sioux Falls husband and wife Garry and Dianne Jacobson would provide $2 million for the project. The City of Sioux Falls would pitch in another $2 million.

The Jacobsons’ daughter, Robin Houwman, spoke at an informational meeting about the project on Tuesday.

“They really want to provide an opportunity for our community to come together in ways that are fun, not just for you and I, but for those that are less fortunate and have difficulties doing things,” Garry and Dianne’s daughter Robin Houwman said.

“I’m just extremely grateful for the Jacobsons stepping forward and wanting to do this legacy project for their family. I know they wanted to give back to the community because Sioux Falls has been so good to them and so we’re forever grateful for their generosity and their willingness to partner on this project with us,” Kearney said.

If approved, construction is expected to begin in the spring of 2022.

While $2 million would be provided by the Jacobson family, the funding agreement is between the Sioux Falls Area Community Foundation and the City of Sioux Falls.

On Wednesday the Sioux Falls Parks and Recreation Board recommended the approval of the naming and gifting agreement.

It now goes to the City Council.

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