First on-campus ice rink to open spring semester
Published: Thursday, December 5, 2013
Updated: Thursday, December 5, 2013 17:12
Before the start of Thanksgiving break, a sign was posted outside the Student Union telling students not to forget to bring a pair of ice skates back to UB after winter break.
Starting this spring semester, UB students will be able to ice skate for free on campus. Spearheaded by Student Life and Student Affairs, the new ice rink will be located in the field between the Commons and Clemens Hall on North Campus.
Director of Student Life Tom Tiberi said one of the main reasons for having the new rink is to provide a venue for winter activities, like ice skating, hockey and broomball.
“We want to celebrate the UB experience year round,” Tiberi said. “The winter months offer many unique opportunities to do this, and what better way is there than to provide a place for students to participate in outdoor winter activities?”
The rink is still being built and will consist of a wooden frame and plastic liner. The frame was completed recently and the liner will be completed later this month and then filled with water. The ice rink is a temporary addition on campus.
“I think it’s great,” said Josh Bush, a senior biomedical engineering major. “Ice skating is always fun and very accessible. It helps promote some sort of physical activity during a time of year when most people just want to sit on a couch and do nothing.”
Buffalo is known for its chilly winters and activities that go along with it. Having an ice rink seems an appropriate addition to some of the winter activities students can enjoy throughout the winter season.
In order to maintain the outdoor rink, a contractor will apply hot water twice a week to smooth over the surface. Any snow will be shoveled as soon as possible.
The Student Association is looking to be involved with hosting events at the new rink. SA President Sam McMahon looks forward to potentially having periodic free skate rental events when the ice rink opens.
“It’ll be a great activity for international students to experience the Buffalo experience and climate,” McMahon said. “Why don’t we have a way for students to get a taste of the Buffalo winter and sporting activities?”
Tiberi said the ice rink should debut Jan. 27, the first day of the spring semester, but cautioned that date is dependent on weather. The rink will be open for as long as it is cold enough – he hopes it will stay open into March.
The tentative schedule is currently from Thursday to Sunday from mid-day until midnight and will also be free of charge.
Different activities will also be run during varying times in order to fairly distribute the amount of hockey and ice skating time available to all students.
Winterfest 2014, an annual event that features both indoor and outdoor events, will be using the ice rink extensively. The ice rink will be a focal point of the Feb. 1 event.
UB has never had an ice rink before this year and many students have been excited for the project to be finished.
“The landscape around Buffalo is perfect for an ice rink,” said Decearee Paningasan, a junior nursing major. “I’m really excited for it and can’t wait for it to be opened.”
Tiberi hopes that the ice rink contributes to the UB experience by providing another opportunity for students to come together and create lasting memories. Student Life will also be looking for volunteers to help out with maintaining the ice rink.