Soon, with an exact date dependent on mother nature’s ice-making schedule, the local community will have the opportunity to glide on Whitnall Field thanks to a brand new outdoor skating rink affectionately dubbed, #gateskates.
“When you live and study on a campus that is as beautiful as Colgate can be in winter, there should be outdoor activities that offer a chance to enjoy everything that this season has to offer,” said Colgate President Brian W. Casey. “Our students already snowshoe, ski, and sled in the winter months, and now they’ll be able to enjoy one of the nation’s most beautiful college settings on the ice.”
Admission to the rink will be free and open to all, seven days a week throughout the winter — weather and ice conditions permitting. A small selection of adult skates will also be available to check out at no cost. Once open, the rink will be accessible to eager skaters via an entrance on Lally Lane.
Planned hours of operation will be from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Thursday; Friday from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.; and Saturday and Sunday from noon to 3 p.m. Because conditions can change depending on the weather, visitors should look for a Colgate flag and rink illumination as indicators of whether or not the ice is open for public skating. If the flag is down and most of the lights are out, the rink is closed.
“The temperature looks like it will be dropping throughout the rest of this week, so we’re hopeful that the ice will be ready by the weekend,” said Steve Hughes, associate vice president for facilities and capital projects. “I also want to give a big shout out to our facilities teams, who have helped to install lighting and preparing the site. They have done an outstanding job, and I can’t wait to see everyone enjoying the ice.”