Skate Your Heart Out: Indoor Ice Rink Opens

Posted: February 15, 2007 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

Since Mason’s Homecoming is held in the winter instead of the fall, the Homecoming Committee has decided to embrace the theme and go with an activity that combines the fun of a winter sport with the comfort of indoor warmth.

This year, Mason is bringing the cold winter tradition of ice skating inside, on a temporary indoor rink for which freezing temperatures aren’t needed to skate across the “ice.”

The university is renting synthetic ice called EZ-Glide that has been installed on the ground floor of the Johnson Center Dewberry Hall, a room usually reserved for conferences, presentations and banquets. The ice took about and hour and a half to install using 92-inch-by-42-inch panels joined together using a hammer. The entire rink is 35 feet by 45 feet.

Today through Feb. 17, the ice rink will be available for students and the community with open skating, games, competitions and other events. A disco ball and music will complete the winter wonderland scene.

“We’re decorating the room and going to try to make it a nice atmosphere for skating,” says Benn Crandall, Mason’s associate director of University Services.

No skates? No problem. The City of Fairfax, Va., has allowed Mason to borrow skates from a similar ice skating event it hosts annually.

With unpredictable outdoor temperatures and the rising cost of maintaining facilities, synthetic ice has been growing in popularity among skating shows as well as hockey practice rinks and training venues. Mason is renting the rink from South Carolina-based Ice Rink Engineering and Manufacturing.

If the ice rink is a success, the university may explore “rent to own” options, and “ice” skating may become a Homecoming tradition in the future.

“We hope that this will bring students, faculty, staff and the community together to celebrate Mason and our Homecoming week,” says Lauren Long, director of Student Activities at Mason.

Ice rink hours are:

Wednesday, Feb. 14—11:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Thursday, Feb. 15—11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Friday, Feb. 16—noon to 10 p.m.

Saturday, Feb. 17—6:30 to 10 p.m.

Note: If Mason is closed because of inclement weather, the rink will not be open.

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