THE BRONX - Officials sought to reassure Kingsbridge residents and business owners that the planned development of a massive ice-skating center in the area would not displace them at a town hall-style forum Wednesday evening.

Stakeholders raised many concerns at the meeting, at Monroe College, about the project to turn the Kingsbridge Armory building into the new Kingsbridge National Ice Center.

"Development without displacement" was the dominating theme. Residents and business owners told officials they were concerned about gentrification.

Others saw opportunity in the project.

Union representatives asked officials about supplying a work force for construction. A 9-year-old disabled boy asked about special-needs access and use.

Officials say they have not yet set a date to begin construction, but the project is moving forward behind the scenes. The state's Public Authorities Control Board unanimously voted recently to support funding the project.

On the design side, architects and engineers are still drawing up plans.

Officials say the completed center will include nine or 10 ice rinks.