NORWAY — Most ice skaters at the Norway ice rink used to go home when they got cold.
With the recent completion of the New Balance Warming Hut, children and adults have a 24- by 30-foot building at the skating rink on Cottage Street to sit and warm up in.
A grand opening will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 11. It will include a ribbon-cutting, recognition of key donors and volunteers who helped build the hut, refreshments, a bonfire, raffles and ice skating.
In case of a storm, the ceremony will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 18.
The hut houses about 200 pairs of mostly donated ice skates in a wide range of sizes, Parks and Recreation Director Deb Partridge said.
“There’s no excuses why mom and dad can’t skate now,” she said Thursday.
There is no cost to borrow skates or use the rink.
The hut was funded by a $15,000 donation from the New Balance Foundation, a charitable organization established in 1981 and funded by New Balance Athletic Shoe Inc. The Foundation teamed up with the town in its effort to keep the community healthy.
The project also involved other local area companies, including New Balance Community Connection Associate Volunteers, the Oxford Hills Technical School Building Technology Class, R. E. Lowell Lumber, Flanders Electric, Swett Signs Inc, Nick and Sharon Barker, Mike and Chris Twitchell, Dead River Co. and individuals, Partridge said.
The ice rink surface has been maintained by volunteer Bruce Fox since 1994.
In addition to the skating rink, the recreation area has open space where children can build snowmen, individuals can walk, snowshoe and cross country ski. They, too, can use the hut to get warm.
The New Balance Foundation is a charitable foundation established in 1981 and funded by New Balance Athletic Shoe Inc. to support effective charitable organizations which perform humanitarian services for the betterment of children in local communities.