When Maria Graham hatched the idea to build an outdoor ice rink in Middlebury just in time for the February school break, it didn’t take long to rustle up community support.
Within a week, Graham’s coworker Janet Lapiner, who is on the ACSD Community Partnership Council’s “Joy Committee” — yes, that’s a real thing — had nailed down a location (the rec fields near Mary Hogan), found a local business to donate its labor (Silver Maple Construction) and got the local fire and water departments on board to fill the new rink with 8000 gallons of water.
Clearly this is a community that wants to get out and skate.
“We are definitely the last town in Vermont to put in a skating rink,” said Graham, who is the executive director of Junebug. “It really is a true community effort.”
“If the stars align,” said Graham, the rink will open this Saturday and continue to be open every day as long as the cold weather holds. As for COVID protocols, a sign will remind folks to wear masks but the rink isn’t staffed, so no one will be there counting people. It’s really a matter of common sense, said Graham. “If it looks like there are too many people there, come back another time.”
Graham has fond memories of skating on a community rink as a child in Springfield, Vt. “I grew up with this kind of community rink,” she said. “I’m thrilled to have one in Middlebury.”
Photo: A CREW FROM Silver Maple Construction — (from left) Sutton Doira, Duke Whitney and Silas Clark — constructed a new ice rink on the rec fields next to Mary Hogan School on Wednesday.