South Burlington High School builds outdoor rink
SOUTH BURLINGTON — In a time of hypervigilance when it comes to minimizing the spread of COVID-19, South Burlington High School Principal Patrick Burke has been looking for alternative solutions to keep his student body engaged. .
“This year we were concerned about the physical activity of children, not just student-athletes, but everyone. How can we encourage them to be active?” said the longtime manager.
The answer was behind his office window: build an outdoor rink.
An idea born of two hockey fanatics – Burke and PE teacher Sean Jones, also the boys’ hockey coach – was set in motion less than two months ago. On Monday, the school unveiled the new 50-by-140-foot rink.
Behind the school and set in undeveloped land, the rink will generally be marked for school teams and gym classes – a broomball game was in session on Tuesday during lunchtime – in hopes of allowing community use in the near future.
“We want to run it for a week with a soft opening,” Burke said.
The materials to build the rink cost around $1,000. The boys’ and girls’ figure skating and hockey teams stepped in on a Saturday, laying down the plastic tarp and helping with the initial flooding of the rink.
The school’s electrician installed new lights, allowing events to continue into the evening hours, Burke said.
“That’s one of the cool things about pond hockey and outdoor ice in general – you don’t drill and an adult whistles, you just play. It’s like basketball, it’s is fun,” Burke said.
“I feel like the kids need it, especially during COVID.”
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