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Foundation Layers
Winthrop ice rink open soon

The recent cold temperatures have frozen the surface of some local lakes deeply enough to allow ice skating the old-fashioned way. Now comes word that the Winthrop Ice and Sports Rink is likely to open Friday, December 13.

photoDave Dewbrey builds ice at the Winthrop Ice and Sports Rink Friday evening, 12/6.

Kurt Meacham, rink general manager, said the plan is to open with a 1:00 to 3:30 p.m. open skate session and then continue to follow the 2013/2014 season schedule posted at A second open skate session will last from 3:30 to 6:00 p.m. on opening day. And, after conditioning the ice, a theme night open skate is planned to last from 6:30 to 9:00 p.m.

Meacham said the recent cold spell has meant that Dave Dewbrey has been able to make ice at the outdoor rink in the morning and evening. “Typically, we make ice at night at three o’clock in the morning,” he said, adding that “The perfect temperature for making ice is about 15 degrees.” If it’s colder, the water freezes too fast and the ice builds up unevenly and can develop bubbles. He added that Dewbrey has worked at the rink for about seven years and “knows a lot about the ice.” The men have been building ice this year since December 2.

In addition to daily open skate sessions, this season’s schedule includes skating and hockey lessons plus times reserved for kids, adults and women’s hockey.

Season passes are available and rates for skate time and equipment rental are posted on the website. Open skate sessions, for example, cost $4.50 for youth ages 6 to 18 and seniors 65 and older. Adults ages 19 to 64 pay $6.

Six teams of teen hockey players from Washington and British Columbia will be in Winthrop for a hockey tournament Jan. 24 to 26, Meacham said. An estimated 500 people are expected to attend the U.S.A. Hockey-sanctioned event.

The rink will operate as it has in the past this season and next, Meacham said. However, a public fund drive is to be launched soon to raise matching money to refrigerate the rink and add changing rooms and bathrooms. That project will extend the skating season significantly and allow Winthrop to host more hockey tournaments.

The ice rink board needs to raise about $300,000. Nearly $500,000 has been raised through a grant from the Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office.

The plan is to break ground on the facility in the spring of 2015. The rink is at 208 White Ave. in Winthrop.


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