An ice rink is still feasible

There is a lot of confusion surrounding the ice rink. Over the past few days, questions regarding the likelihood of a rink have arisen and the Ice Rink Committee (IRC) would like to clarify the current state of affairs.

Macalester students’ idea for the ice rink started last spring during preliminary stages of the Macalester College Student Government (MCSG) rollover situation. In Fall 2011, advocates of the ice rink submitted a proposal that allowed it to be on the ballot. MCSG members realized that every proposal on the rollover ballot had obstacles and could face difficulties during implementation. However, MCSG members believed that the students’ vote and excitement could sprout a project on campus that we have never seen before. The ice rink was the students’ choice and the IRC will work in every possible way to make the rink a reality.

Understandably, the IRC has sensed some tension from the administration and facilities. Therefore, it is not the IRC’s intent to place the workload on facilities, but rather use other sources to build and maintain the ice rink. Carleton College, a school with two ice rinks, employs the city of Northfield to flood their ice rink. The IRC will be talking to the St. Paul Parks and Recreation Department and the Fire Department about setting up and supplying water to the rink.

In contrast with past ice rink projects, the IRC has the financial resources of the rollover fund to contract outside ice rink companies and city agencies for help. Moreover, the cost of maintaining the rink is sustainable and we expect the ice rink to last for over seven years.

Another obstacle that confronts the ice rink is the availability for flat land on the college. The IRC has surveyed four spots on campus that are flat enough to hold a rink. Some of these sites include parts of Shaw Field and the Old Main Lawn. Some argue that these sites are not entirely flat, and that is correct, but the ice rink will not encompass the entirety of these fields. Blueprints have been drawn for only the flat areas in these spaces. If the IRC contracts with the city or Fire Department, a water source will be easier to find.

As the commissioner of the IRC, I feel obliged to clarify the committee’s outlook on the future and the plausibility of an ice rink. With student energy and support, we feel optimistic about the ice rink’s potential. One setback will not jeopardize a project created, funded and supported by students. The ice rink is feasible.