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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) – Mountain View Elementary School students went ice skating on their very own rink on Friday afternoon.

Decked out in winter coats, bicycle helmets, and hockey skates, the grade schoolers leaned on metal folding chairs as they muscled their way across the ice.

“This is scary, ” one boy said with a smile.

Fifth-grade teacher Wes “Coach” Cornelison was one of the driving forces behind the community-funded project, rounding up over $8, 000 for the rink with the help of a GoFundMe fundraiser. Cornelison was as excited as the kids on Fri for the new rink, lacing up skates for students, patting youth on the back and even pushing students in chairs across the ice who needed a break from the skating.

“I just wrote a paragraph on GoFundMe, that’s all Coach did, and a bunch of people wrote a check, so it’s really cool, ” Cornelison stated.

Cornelison mentioned he hopes the ice rink will become a hangout for students. He said the school will have ice skates available to check out for the weekends.

“You live in Alaska — you need to skate, ” Cornelison said. “It’s like living at a beach and not swimming. So I’m going to push these kids to use this not just after school (but) on the weekends. ”

MVES Principal, Dr . Clare Hill, was on hand to take in her school members’ joy while trying something new.

“We think about the whole child, ” Hill said. “So we want to have them grow within reading and math and their social skills, but also their mental health and their own exercise is just as important. ”

“A lot of them, Anchorage is not home, they came from other countries plus winter is harsh, and so when you learn to have a passion in the winter, it can turn into an enjoyable time, ” she said.

Hill wants to continue to provide winter sports opportunities to Mountain View’s schoolchildren, including skiing.

“I feel like the sky is the limit, ” she stated.

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