This season marks the 21st year that the Skatium in Waitsfield has been providing the Mad River Valley with a community ice skating rink, an affordable recreation alternative for kids and adults. Though its facilities have seen better days, the Skatium is popular with residents and visitors.

The Skatium is poised to proceed with major renovations because it now owns its land at Mad River Green and has obtained all necessary permits. Town permits received include a subdivision permit that creates its 5.4-acre lot, phase one zoning approval and preliminary phase two zoning PUD approval. Final phase two approval is subject to submittal of detailed architectural and site designs. The state permits obtained include a wetlands permit for phase one and two and an Act 250 permit for the subdivision and phase one.

To celebrate these achievements, the Skatium is hosting a 21st anniversary party during Presidents week at the rink on Tuesday, February 19. The gathering will also kick off fundraising for phase one improvements which include turning the ice surface 90 degrees and constructing a concrete surface with integrated refrigeration piping. This will enable ice construction in 36 to 48 hours (current time is one to two weeks, weather permitting) and extend the length of the skating season by 50 percent. Phase two will include constructing a multi-function arena building and adding an outdoor skating surface.

All are invited to come to the Skatium for the party from 5 to 9:30 p.m. for an evening of skating, food, music and games. Tickets are available at the gate. Kids under 12 get in free. There will be a disc jockey spinning tunes, a 50/50 raffle, a bonfire, lots of open skating time, fireworks and plenty of familiar faces. There will also be an open broomball tournament later in the evening for those interested. Broomballers should bring their own brooms. For more information or to volunteer, call (802) 279-6985.