JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) — ETSU is getting into the holiday spirit with a synthetic outdoor ice rink. The rink will be open in December and January for both students and the public.

This is a first for ETSU with the rink located at University Commons outside the DP Culp Center. The new feature will kick off with a free grand opening from 4-8 p.m. Dec. 2 at what’s being called “Bucky’s Blizzard Block Party.”

The 70-foot long rink’s Swiss-engineered synthetic ice “mimics the consistency of real ice,” according to an ETSU news release. Skaters wear standard ice skates to use the rink, which came in separate pieces and is being assembled this month.

Regular admission for an hour of skating and skate rental after Dec. 2 will be $5 for community members and $3 for people with valid ETSU ID. Organizers said it’s an opportunity to bring students and community members together for an end-of-semester celebration.

“We’ve invested quite a bit in outdoor spaces like this in restaurants in gaming areas,” said Ben Daugherty, Director of Operations, Office of Administration. “So the rink really fits into that broader initiative to create a quality experience and make ETSU a place that students really want to be.”

The university’s student advisory council supported the planning and design of the rink as it has a number of the projects in ETSU’s University Commons space, according to the release.

“We hope the skating rink will bring people together and enhance the concept of the University Commons being the central ‘living room’ of ETSU, with picturesque spaces and engaging activities for students, staff and the community,” member Carley Slezak said.

King’s Corner, ETSU’s sweets and treats shop, will have special weekend hours of operation while the rink is open.

“Students are very excited to have a block party to conclude the last week of classes, and we look forward to welcoming members of the community for our newest grand opening,” said Mason Mosier, ETSU SGA president.

Currently scheduled dates and hours are available here.