AMHERST – People will be lacing up their skates under starry skies when an outdoor ice-skating rink opens in the Town of Amherst this week.
“Someone from the town is going to help us flood it for the first time, so we’ll get in touch with him and hopefully people will be skating here by the end of the week or next weekend,” said Sarah MacIntosh of Maggie’s Place, who got the ball rolling by sending a request to the Town of Amherst to build a rink. “But it depends on the weather.”
14 family and friends helped MacIntosh build the rink at the tennis court on Cornwall Avenue.
“We shoveled the snow off on Saturday so we had a nice clean work surface to work on,” said MacIntosh Sunday morning. “Today we’re building the surrounding part. We’ll then put the tarp in and then we’ll put some water in to hold the tarp down until we get some cold weather, and then we’ll flood it.”
The rink is built at no cost to tax payers.
“The money we’re using is coming from funding Maggie’s Place secured through the Canadian Tire Jump Start program, and then the volunteer hours of all these people,” said MacIntosh. “And Harrison’s Home Hardware gave us a really good deal on the building supplies.”
MacIntosh first contacted the Town of Amherst to build a skating rink in November, telling them she could secure the building materials and construct the rink. All she needed was a location and the go-ahead from the Town.
“I asked the questions and when they said yes I was like, uh oh, what now?” said MacIntosh with a laugh. “But the town gave me a lot of ideas of what might work, and family and friends gave me a lot of ideas as well.
“The town has been really helpful,” added MacIntosh. “They found this great space that has washrooms and night lights and benches.”
More pictures of the ice rink construction can be seen on the slide show at www.cumberlandnewsnow.com.
© Dave Mathieson - Amherst Daily News
Darrin White (left) and Gavin Brown put 2x4's down at the end of the outdoor rink.