Reynoldsburg's old skating rink -- used for the past several years as a bingo hall -- rolled into history in February when a wrecking ball crashed through the building and the adjacent swim club.
The building at 7227 E.Main St. was constructed in 1962 and remodeled in 1974, according to Mary Turner Stoots of the Reynoldsburg-Truro Historical Society.
Its demolition paved the way for what will be a new community center, but city leaders chose to preserve a bit of the building by saving boards from the original roller rink floor.
Artwork created from the boards will be displayed in the new Reynoldsburg Community Center YMCA, slated for completion by the summer of 2019.
City Service Director Bill Sampson said a Facebook announcement about the pending demolition of the bingo hall sparked comments about salvaging the flooring.
"It is the original wood flooring," he said.
Sampson got the ball rolling by making sure the demolition crew saved several floorboards, then contacted school leaders at STEM Middle at Baldwin Road Junior High School.
"I was familiar with the creative and artistic woodworking capabilities at the Baldwin school and reached out to the interim principal, Amy Gengo," he said.
Gengo put Sampson in touch with teacher Sandy Guinto, who opened the Foundry at Baldwin three years ago. Equipped with drills and a laser cutter, a CNC router (a computer-controlled cutting machine), a 3D printer and other equipment, the Foundry is a student "maker space" for project-based work.
Guinto said she chose her seventh grade Art of Math class to complete the project.
"We chose this group because the students will be able to design and prototype this spring and then return in the fall as eighth-graders to build the final piece," she said.
The first step in the project was research.
"We toured the (Reynoldsburg) Historical Society to research information for the project," Guinto said. "Students learned that the property was once a flat track for car racing. They also learned the former rink was home to a competition skate club."
Students are brainstorming ideas and gathering information from people who remember the skating rink.
"Once we have their (city leaders') input, we will fine-tune our design and gather supplies before the year is over," Guinto said. "In the fall, we will begin our final design."
She said her students are excited about learning more about Reynoldsburg history and creating artwork that will be a part of the new YMCA.
Sampson said the artwork would be significant.
"It is an opportunity for the students to get involved in a design using the wood flooring that many of their parents and relatives enjoyed at the roller rink, as well as leave a lasting legacy of their efforts and contributions toward preserving a piece of our city's history in our community center," he said.
Residents who would like to participate in an interview or have memorabilia or photographs from the rink should contact Guinto at email@example.com or call the school at 614-367-1600.
Guinto said all memorabilia and photographs will be returned to their owners.