More than winter skating at Larson Ice Center

Jamie Anderson

Jamie Anderson

Do you like ice skating? Do you wish you could go in September?

What many students may not know is that Larson Ice Center, a popular winter recreational area, is actually open for more than just the frigid winter months. The center, which is located near the Swiftel Center, has open skating nights from the beginning of September to mid-March.

Larson Ice Center originally opened in 1980 and was located across from Larson Manufacturing on 22nd Avenue.

“I’ve been with Larson Ice Center since day one. There was only one sheet of ice back then,” said Marc Richards, recreation superintendent of the Brookings Parks and Recreation Department.

The current facility was built in spring 2001. The first ice lasts from July to October, and the second goes from November to March, said Richards.

“Hockey is the driving force for events,” he said. “Hockey players ranges from ages 5 and 6 all the way to adult.

“There is also a figure skating club in Brookings. We have open skate and beginners’ skate,” said Richards.

Two different projects were completed this summer at the ice center. One was completion of seating in the red rink, which doubled the amount of seats. Additional varsity lockers were added in both the men’s and women’s locker rooms. The other major project was completion of the entrance and parking lot.

“The entrance and parking lot are a lot different, and there was color added to the building,” said Richards.

Open skate is $3 admission and $2 for skates. You can pay $30 for 20-person admittance.

Rental of the ice is $100 per hour on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings. Larson Ice Center is open and offers open skate every day.

“Monday through Thursday there is a lot of hockey activities, and Friday through Sunday is more open skate,” said Richards.

The University Program Council will host an upcoming open skate event for all students on Dec. 11 at the ice center.

“We will have hot chocolate at the open skate. Just ask for skates when you get there,” said Tyler Husby, a sophomore construction management major.

Some of the residence halls also host open skates throughout the year, said Husby.

“I try to go ice skating all the time,” said Husby. “I love it.”

Although there may be no weather in the foreseeable future for outside ice, people can still go to Larson to get their skating fix.

“With ice inside, we are able to schedule things and see things grow,” said Richards. “We would love to see everyone come out to Larson Ice Center.”