One hot Memphis summer long ago — longer ago than I care to remember — I was a grumpy teenager sweating in the forehead-dripping humidity of a concrete-walled classroom. Make-up geometry class for a poor performance during the school year. “When will I need to know geometry?” I whined to my parents in a desperate attempt to escape weeks of math jail. Mattie and Sam Crossley would have been delighted to point to the example of the teens of the Hyde Square Task Force. Their math skills have helped them calculate a $13.8 million possible solution for their community.

It started with the teens’ campaign to raise money for the new Jackson Square Recreational Center, a $21 million building which would include a regulation-size ice rink. Through some savvy detective work, the teens uncovered a legal obligation hidden in the 1995 deal to purchase the old Boston Garden. In a compromise to forego $3.5 million in linkage payments — fees for affordable housing — the buyers agreed to hold three fundraisers with monies targeted for a long promised recreation center.

But, for more than two decades, no fundraisers were held, no money raised. The teens estimated that three fund raisers at about $150,000 over 24 years with late fees, fines and interest adds up to $13.8 million. The Task Force members held a press conference to reveal their findings, and the powers that be confirmed the teens' facts, but at first didn't say how the money would be repaid. So the young activists took to the streets for a protest rally in front of TD Garden, chanting, "We've got justice on our side."

The teens' protest took place just as TD Garden announced it would make good on part of its debt, reimbursing $1.65 million to the state's Department of Conservation and Recreation. The DCR agreed to add another million, bringing the sum total to $2.65 million. The members of the Hyde Square Task Force say it's not enough. Seventeen year-old Edeline Peguero told the Boston Globe's Steve Annear, "We need the money, and you need to keep up to your promise."

These teens already know a lot about broken promises. The decades-old pledges to replace the old recreation center never materialized. And there has been no replacement for the two ice rinks that were once fixtures in their JP neighborhood. This is particularly frustrating to many of the teens like 16 year-old Shayne Clinton, who told the Globe, "A lot of people don't have the opportunity to ice skate, especially in this area."

Even math-challenged me can understand that $2.65 million repayment isn't equal to the $13.8 million the teens of the Hyde Square Task Force insist is owed their community. They can see how they are being shortchanged and so can I. So I have a suggestion: Why not use some of the money to pay for a weekly shuttle bus that would do round trips from Jackson Square to the gleaming Warrior Ice Arena? The year-round rink — right down the street from WGBH — is not only the Boston Bruins' official practice arena, but is also open to the public. There is enough money to pay for several years of shuttle transportation, as well as admission and skate rentals. By the time the Jackson Square Recreational Center becomes a reality, every kid who wanted to skate would get the chance. They’ve all waited long enough to have their time on the ice.