MONTPELIER — Lace up your skates. This winter, you’ll be able to practice your figure eights on an ice rink on the State House lawn in downtown Montpelier. Today, the Vermont Department of Buildings and General Services executed an agreement with the City of Montpelier allowing for the installation of a temporary skating rink in front of the state’s Capitol building. The agreement paves the way for a 40’x80’ rink to be installed there between Christmas and New Year’s.
The idea for putting an ice rink on the State House lawn was the brainchild of a small group of central Vermont residents, who formed the “Put a Rink on It” committee in an effort to coax the idea into reality. With support from Montpelier Alive, National Life, Vermont Mutual, and others, and with the backing of Montpelier’s City Council, the committee and city staff worked with BGS for over a year to gain approval for the project.
The City of Montpelier plans to officially open the rink for skating the first day of the Vermont legislative session, Wednesday, January 4. The rink will be open Wednesdays through Fridays from 3-7pm and on the weekends from noon until 7pm through the winter season pending ice that is safe for skating. The rink will be free and open to the public during these monitored skating hours. To ensure the rink is safe for all skaters, hockey will not be allowed at the rink.
“This Rink is a great example of volunteerism at work in our community. It would never have happened without the hard work of Nate Hausman and Kimberley McKee. I’m very pleased with the successful partnership between Montpelier Alive, the State of Vermont, and the City of Montpelier that also brought this project to fruition. I look forward to skating with Montpelier residents and visitors this winter,” said Montpelier Mayor Hollar.
Ashley Witzenberger, the Executive Director of Montpelier Alive, a nonprofit which promotes the vitality of the capital city, added, “We’re very excited to see the rink installed. We think it’ll add to the vibrancy of downtown Montpelier and will be a boon to both residents and the downtown business community.”
Montpelier resident and member of the Put a Rink on It committee Nate Hausman said, “The Lawn of the State House has always struck me as a perfect place for a rink. Just like it comes alive with people picnicking and playing frisbee in the summer, I’m excited to see it become a hub of activity during the winter months. I hope the rink will draw young and old alike who want to skate under the under the gleam of the golden dome.”
Committee members noted that they are seeking volunteers to help with maintenance and to serve as rink monitors during operational hours. People interested in volunteering to monitor the rink can sign up here: https://goo.gl/forms/ECGcx9QcIQfbEalb2.