Students will have to wait until the new year to enjoy an on-campus skating rink.

Initially projected to be installed by November, the Community Rink has been pushed back into the new year due to unforeseen delays. The project, a point on VP (Finance) Scott Mallon’s overarching year plan, involves the installation of a small public rink for students to access on campus during the winter.

“We said we’d get this rink on campus this year; we’re hoping that we still can,” said Mallon.

A number of roadblocks have prevented the rink from coming in before the Christmas break. Among the details, they’ve needed to consider the addition of lighting and barriers around the rink, along with other concerns brought forward by the Environmental & Occupational Health Support Services, whose approval is required for any initiative on campus.

“We realized that once we invited EOHSS into it, they were like, ‘okay you guys are a little bit ambitious,’ so it got pushed back,” he said.

“We’re aiming for Frost Week,” Mallon said. “January is ideal, but I’d even be happy if it was open for the month of February.”

“I’m still optimistic that it will be open in second semester this year at some point.”

The rink is planned to be located between Edwards Hall and McKay Hall, near Faculty Hollow. The rink is projected to be 36 by 65 feet, which is approximately the space between the blue lines on a full-size hockey rink.

Initially proposed through the Student Life Enhancement Fund, the project was originally estimated at $95,000, which covers the purchase of the rink and rink cooler, as well as bringing electricity to the site and adjusting for uneven elevations. The addition of lighting and barriers to surround the arena, along with insurance costs, will likely bring the total to around $110,000.

The rink will be able to be set up and struck down each winter, and will be maintained in collaboration between the MSU and the university. Although envisioned as a potential 24-hour operation, the cost and liability associated with it will likely only allow it to be operational during the day. Amenities like skate rentals will also not be available for this first year.

“We talked about skate rentals, but that might not happen until the second year, once we’ve actually established what it’s going to be on campus.”

The rink itself will require little maintenance once installed, and will be able to stay operational for up to three days with the temperature above five degrees C. The rink is also open for expansion if there is enough positive student feedback.

“The good thing about this is if we find out there’s a huge appetite for [the rink], we can also expand it, because you can just buy more tiles to put around.”

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