When students at Castleton University return to school for the spring semester, they can usually expect the Pavilion to be transformed into an ice-skating rink.
Many look forward to lacing up their roughed-up skates and hitting the ice for a couple laps around the pavilion, trying their best not to tumble over the plastic barrier dividing the ice from the snow and concrete on the outside.
The thick sheet of glistening ice, surrounded by a yellow plastic barrier is open to the public from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m., but students sometimes can be found skating around at all hours of the night.
When the work starts adding up and the stress begins to build, students say the rink offers a chance for them to clear their heads and go for a quick skate. Sophomore Marco Lam, said the rink offers something different to do at night.
“For me personally I thought the rink was a cool experience, even if I would go for 30 minutes or so,” he said.
For other students, it’s a traditional winter activity.
“I’ve been out there a couple of times and it’s fun because it’s really the thing to do in the winter, said sophomore Rachel Vitagliano.
Unfortunately for the students who use the rink, not long after the semester started, warm temperatures shut the rink down. Public Safety Staff Assistant Karla Tomasi sent an e-mail through the Department of Public Safety to the university’s students saying, “Due to safety conditions, the ice rink is closed until further notice.”
The warm weather left puddles of water in various areas of the rink and has weakened the ice. Skating on the ice can ultimately lead to the ice cracking and students would find themselves into water up to the middle of their shins.
“I’m upset about ice rink closing,” said senior Amanda Hatch. “It was a free activity on campus that allowed students to be outside.”
Other students seemed a little more understanding.
“It was a reasonable decision because it just has not been cold enough to maintain it,” Vitagliano said.
“It was just too warm outside and the ice was falling apart,” said Lam “At least it was fun while it lasted.”
As temperatures are expecting to drop toward the beginning of February, frequent skaters are optimistic that the ice will freeze-up once again and they can return to the Pavilion for some outdoor fun.