HALLOWELL — A new Kennebec County ice rink will be named “The Bank of Maine Ice Vault,” project officials announced this morning at a groundbreaking ceremony.

The new rink is slated to open this summer. The former rink, which saw its roof collapse last winter under the weight of snow and ice, was called the Kennebec Ice Arena.

“Thanks to our new partnership with The Bank of Maine, encouragement from the city of Hallowell and help from so many supporters of skating and hockey, we are able to move this exciting project forward immediately,” said Peter Prescott, owner of the ice rink and CEO of Everett J. Prescott Inc.

John W. Everets, chairman and CEO of The Bank of Maine, said he is excited about the partnership partnership with Prescott, “who is committed to growing this wonderful recreation facility for the families of Maine.”

“We know that families have been inconvenienced by the ice rink’s closure and we all look forward to a new state-of-the-art facility,” Everets said.

Prescott said the rebuild will include conference rooms, updated locker rooms and more.

“The skating community, area businesses and the city of Hallowell have been tremendously supportive of the rebuild and will be happy with the new sheet of ice and impressive two-story facility,” Prescott said. “We couldn’t have accomplished this without the support of The Bank of Maine.”

In addition, a newly formed nonprofit organization, the Skating Association of Maine, has been created to encourage and support ice skating programs throughout Maine, officials said. And the new ice arena will be their home rink.

The old arena’s roof collapsed last March 2 under the weight of a heavy load of snow and ice. At the time, police said it was a miracle nobody was injured when the roof came crashing down about 3 p.m.

The three people who were inside during the roof collapse were all adult employees or volunteers. There were no events scheduled at the time of the collapse, which happened during a brief break between a public skate and youth hockey.

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