Mountain View Elementary celebrates the opening of a new community-funded ice rink

A crowd skates on an ice rink on a school basketball court.
Students, faculty and families celebrate the opening of the Mountain View Elementary School’s ice rink on Friday. (Elyssa Loughlin/Alaska Public Media)

Mountain View Elementary students, faculty and families went slipping and sliding on Friday in Anchorage to celebrate the opening of the school’s new ice rink. Fifth-grade teacher James Cornelison, aka “Coach Wes,” set up a GoFundMe page to raise the $5,000 the school needed for the project.

“Our school does not have an ice skating rink. That’s like living at the beach and not swimming. Let’s make a change,” Cornelison wrote on the page.

In about a month, 18 donors contributed a total of $8,000 to make the ice rink a reality for the students of Mountain View.

After the school day ended Friday, students flocked to the rink, created on a basketball court. They wore helmets and ice skates provided by the school. Some students skated across the ice with ease, while some newer skaters used folding chairs to help with balance.

Cornelison said he’s excited for students to use the rink after school and on weekends, and he hopes that as students get more comfortable on the ice, they will enjoy the long Anchorage winters more.

A man in a green jacket greets a boy in an orange jacket on an ice rink.
Mountain View Elementary teacher James Cornelison, aka “Coach Wes,” greets a student on the ice. (Elyssa Loughlin/Alaska Public Media)
A group of children pose with their teacher in front of a hockey goal on an ice rink.
Teacher James Cornelison poses with students at the school’s ice rink opening. (Elyssa Loughlin/Alaska Public Media)
A young girl in skates pushes a young girl sitting on a chair around an ice rink.
Third-grader Aria pushes preschooler Halo around the new rink. (Elyssa Loughlin/Alaska Public Media)
People skating on an ice rink.
Mountain View’s ice rink. (Elyssa Loughlin/Alaska Public Media)
A young girl in a pink jacket, skates and a helmet poses behind a chair on an ice rink.
Third-grader Elena takes a break from skating to pose for a photo. She said she was having a blast, despite cold hands. (Elyssa Loughlin/Alaska Public Media)
Two young girls pose for a photo in snow gear and helmets.
Aria, third-grade, and Halo, preschool, pose for a photo between trips around the ice rink. (Elyssa Loughlin/Alaska Public Media)
Two boys pose for a photo on an ice rink.
Third-grader Emanuel and fourth-grader Jovan. (Elyssa Loughlin/Alaska Public Media)
Two children in helmets and skate sit on an ice rink while others skate around them.
Mountain View Elementary students take a break on the ice at the school’s ice rink opening celebration. (Elyssa Loughlin/Alaska Public Media)
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