CALAIS _ Brand new ice skates now are available at the Washington County Community College’s Outdoor Recreation Center on the River Road thanks to a grant from the Maine Community Foundation.
“We received a $7,500 grant to buy skates and a skate sharpener to start running a skating program out of our Outdoor Recreation Center,” OAC assistant director Chris Woodside said. The college was able to buy 75 pairs of skates; sizes children to adult.
Woodside applied for the grant last year and the college learned in May that it had been awarded. He said the college was interested in expanding the OAC’s programs and this seemed like the perfect opportunity. “This was just another avenue to get adults and kids outdoors recreating and trying something new,” he said.
Woodside said the skates were first used at the Pottle Tree Farm in Perry last month for a fundraiser held there.
Although the skates can be rented individually for a nominal fee, they will be available for schools and community fundraising projects for free. The first school to use the new skates was the Palmer Street School in Calais. Woodside said the school held an ice skating day for its students. He said other schools also have expressed interest in using the skates.
Woodside said although rain has been a problem this year, he said overall skating has been quite good. The college plans to hold several events at the ice skating rink in Calais that the college co-sponsors with the city’s Recreation Department.