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For six decades, the Holiday Skatium has been the site of first kisses, skinned knees and magical moments.

Now, its seventh decade will bring magical moments of a different kind.

Since the 1950s, roller skaters have been coming to the Holiday Skatium in the heart of Haltom City on Carson Street.

"Most of this entire area was a skating rink," said Conan Mathson, capital projects administrator for Birdville ISD. "There was a DJ stage back in the corner."

The icon was recently put up for sale, just as Birdville ISD was looking for a location for their ever-growing agricultural program. Until now, it was the students' responsibility to find housing and land for their animals. Students from all three Birdville high schools participate.

But, the district had an unconventional vision to turn the aging rink into its first-ever "ag" facility.

"These are our small animal pens," said student Ciara Schreiner. "They're going to have hogs, lambs and goats in here."

And now, months later, the facility is nearly ready for up to 75 pigs, cows, goats, lambs and rabbits that students will raise. Dirt and stalls have replaced the disco ball and snack bar.

For Schreiner, 17, who wants to be a veterinarian, it'll change her learning experience.

"The second I found out about this facility I was ecstatic, and I couldn't wait," she says.

In total, it's cost the district just a touch under $1 million to buy and renovate, far less than the $3.5 million price-tag a new facility could run, according to Birdville ISD spokesman Mark Thomas.

"It gives people who live in the urban areas a little taste and a little touch of where their food comes from," says agri-science teacher Roni Tarver—all the while building on the rich history the spot already has.

For decades, Holiday Skatium has been the site of first kisses, skinned knees, and magical moments. Now, its seventh decade will bring magical moments of a different kind. WFAA

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