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  • Writer's pictureLJ VP LAFIURA & ELLIOT POTOSKY

Seminary Avenue ice rink not expected to return

The ice rink is not expected to return in future academic years to Seminary Avenue according to David Hennessey and Chris Gray. The rink was an annual program coordinated by the athletic department until the 2021-22 academic year.

“I absolutely loved the ice rink. The year that they had it my roommate and I were on it almost every other day if not every day,” senior event management major Jillian Nangle said. “It let us get outside and have a reason to stay on campus when we would otherwise go home all the time for lack of things to do.”

The pickleball court behind Karandon House on Seminary Avenue frozen over during the winter of the 2020-21 academic year. (Mike Maruk)

Each year, the athletic department would fill and freeze the pickleball court located on Seminary Avenue and turn it into an ice rink, equipped for hockey and available for student use. During the 2021-22 winter, the rink, without announcement, was never frozen.

“During Covid, when we had to stay in our rooms, the rink was such a great opportunity to get out and see friends,” senior radio and video production major Lewis Katz said.

Michael Maruk (‘23), a frequent user of the facility, attempted to contact former athletic director Kristy Walter to inquire about the return of the rink that winter and did not receive a reply. “As far as winter activities on campus go, it was definitely a part of the Lasell experience and I think students now are missing out on it,” Maruk said. “When the rink slowly dissolved the faculty could have been more forward about the plans with it going away or what plans there ever were for its future.”

Gray does not place any blame on athletics or Walter in the conclusion of this program, citing it as part of the times. “You can’t build something that brings people together when we have to stay apart,” Gray said. “Post-Covid, that’s not where people’s minds were at.”

“Ice skating helped me bring together a group of friends that otherwise wouldn’t hang out together,” Nangle said. “I remember we used to invite everyone we knew so we could all skate together and have fun and almost everyone came because it was something exciting in our normally boring campus lives.”

Another major concern with the ice rink is cost, according to Hennessey. The upkeep of the surface and keeping snow off the rink are a great consideration when looking to bring back the program and the ice itself is a concern to damage the investment in the court below it. Further, according to Hennessey, climate changes have been of great concern, with warmer winters making the payoff smaller for the price.

The Seminary Avenue ice rink, freshly shoveled and adorned with hockey goals and sticks for student use. (Mike Maruk)

According to Hennessey, the ice rink did not have a large track record of usage and is not being made a priority to return. If investment in the space is to be made, Hennessey believes it will be to improve the grounds for tennis, helping meet the needs of the newly formed tennis club. Meanwhile, Gray believes that with evident student interest, the program could see a return.

“I would definitely be interested [in the rink]. It’s a great way to bring people together,” sophomore Joy Sayah said. Sayah is a goalie for the women’s lacrosse team who has played hockey previously. “Hockey helps bring out the community, whether you can skate or not we all have fun.”

“I just hope one day the skating rink experience comes back for the whole student body to use, as well as for the intramurals club to find fun activities for the students with the rink like they used to,” Maruk said.


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