The arena has ice. Youth hockey teams are already skating at the new Martha’s Vineyard Arena, and the community ice rink will soon be open for public skating following a $4.2 million renovation that began last spring.

Youth hockey teams are already skating. — Mark Lovewell

There are new shingles on the exterior, and on the interior a state-of-the-art energy efficient refrigeration system along with an upgraded lobby, pro shop. Soon to come will be a new concession stand.

On Sept. 19 youth hockey players and figure skaters took to the ice for the first time.

“The biggest thing was not to lose a hockey season,” general manager Peter Lambos said during a recent tour of the new facility. “We wanted to get kids back on the ice, that was the biggest priority.”

Situated across the road from the regional high school, the arena was first built by hand by Islanders as an open-air ice rink in the 1970s. Later the facility was enclosed and it has been a community hub for skating programs for decades. Today more than 250 young skaters participate in the youth hockey program alone.

In November 2016 a capital campaign was launched to rebuild the aging facility. In January of this year the campaign got a major boost with a $1 million expansion grant from MVYouth, a community donor fund dedicated to supporting youth and youth programs on Martha’s Vineyard.

Figure skater Sally Caron. New facility is state of the art with lower energy use and high-quality ice. — Mark Lovewell

Now the renovation is nearly complete.

Mr. Lambos said the new ice rink has cut its energy use significantly thanks to LED lights and a completely new refrigeration system. During renovation, contractors dug three feet down and replaced the concrete slab in a single, continuous pour. (The previous slab had been poured in pieces which led to frost heaves.) The new slab has a heating system under it, keeping the ground at a stable temperature so only the ice freezes.

“When you walk in and see it, it’s just the ice, you don’t see a lot of the renovation happened underneath that,” Mr. Lambos said. “In the mechanical room that translates to 20 per cent energy savings and also just an overall better quality ice, a better user experience.”

He said there a good reports from new users.

“I’ve been told by people who have skated here for a long time, that the ice is very fast, it freezes quickly and is very flat, because of the stability of the ground beneath,” he said.

Public skating begins soon. — Mark Lovewell

Surrounding the ice are brand new hockey boards, built to NHL specifications and topped by real glass. Previously, there had been Plexiglas, forcing people to peer through scuffs and over the glass through the net.

“Everyone marvels at how well you can see through, the experience for the fan and the parent just got so much better,” Mr. Lambos said. “We just have to invest in a lot more Windex.”

A date has not been set yet for the first public skate, but Mr. Lambos said he expects it will be in late fall.

A soft opening will be followed later by a grand opening.

The rink will close in the spring for warranty inspections, but after that, Mr. Lambos said it will be open year round.

After skating on the rink himself as a kid, Mr. Lambos said it was amazing to witness the new transformation. And his four-and-a-half year old twins Graham and Andrew are already skaters.

“It’s neat to do something on such a grand scale,” he said. “I’ve seen it grow into the facility we had last year, and then be part of the next step to really shore it up for the next 50 years — now my kids get to use it.”