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Middlebury to get a public skating rink

A CREW FROM Silver Maple Construction — (from left) Sutton Doira, Duke Whitney and Silas Clark — constructed a new ice rink on the Middlebury rec fields on Wednesday. Many local businesses and organizations came together to make this project happen in a very short time frame, including the ACSD Community Partnership Council, Junebug, Middlebury’s water and fire departments, Paris Farm Supply and Rice Lumber Supply.

MIDDLEBURY — 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.
Paris Farm Supply donated a plastic rink liner and Rice Lumber Supply donated the lumber.
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 the children’s resale store 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-19 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, Graham said.
“If it looks like there are too many people there, come back another time,” she said.
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.”

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