Andover Townsman, Andover, MA


December 19, 2013

Sharpen your skates: Park rink may be ready by Christmas

Pray for cold.

While to some, that sentiment is anathema to comfort in New England, to others it’s de riguer for good ice.

A 40-by-60-foot wooden frame — the first sign of a new seasonal ice rink — is now in place at the Park off Bartlet Street, adjacent to the parking lot to the Town Offices.

And with any luck, residents could be skating on it by Christmas.

Ted Teichert, the former selectman who is spearheading the project, worked with a group of volunteers, overseen by town employees, to build the framework out of heavy-duty lumber last weekend.

The frame now awaits a plastic tarp, which should be installed with flashing this weekend.

Then, Teichert said, when the forecast calls for sustained cold — and no snow — crews will fill the temporary structure with water.

“I’m hoping Santa brings cold weather,” he said. “We hope to fill it Saturday.”

Even though the region has been hit with cold air this week, Teichert said it’s probably a good thing that the rink wasn’t ready because the recent snowfall would have created a lumpy surface.

“We would have had hard mounds of ice,” he said. “We decided to just frame it. We’ll put down the liner and fill it this weekend.”

The rink was approved by the Board of Selectmen Nov. 18 after it was proposed by Teichert working in concert with the Department of Community Services and several volunteers.

He said that once the ice hardens, he will try to get approval for some benches to be placed around the perimeter of the rink so people can more easily lace up their skates or sit alongside and enjoy hot chocolate while others glide along the ice.

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