Wind: 9 mph
"Big things" are going on at The Valley's only ice rink, The Skatium, according to Don Swain, who confirmed that the rink has undergone improvements in the past weeks in preparation for the upcoming winter season.
Kingsbury Construction, Griffin and Griffin, and Appalachian Landscaping, with funding assistance from the Mad River Valley Recreation District, came together and have worked to level the base of the rink with white crushed limestone to remedy the unevenness of the ice as a result of heaving.
Swain said that in past years, it's taken 10 days to 2 weeks to get the ice prepared and in place, while this year's work and limestone filler will make it easier to get the rink up and running earlier and with less work.
All the other aesthetic aspects of the rink including the boards are still in place, according to Swain, and the extent of the work completed in past weeks is all that is planned for this year. The ice will still be natural this year.
Next year, according to Swain, The Skatium will hopefully see a complete overhaul; the site has been granted Act 250 permits as well as town permits to rip up what is currently in place and replace the base with a concrete slab.
Approximately $500,000 will need to be raised in order to complete the rink's overhaul. Swain said he hopes that through fund raising and private donations the money will be raised in time. Swain also added that they plan to pursue grant opportunities to supplement the cost of the work.
Weather permitting, The Skatium will be up and running in early December, Swain said, adding that there needs to be at least five days of 10- to 30-degree weather to make ice, with cold nights and "not-so-warm days."