The Castlegar and District Community Complex will be getting a new ice floor next year with a price tag of $1.65 million.
According to the Regional District of Central Kootenay’s announcement of the project, the work on 46-year-old floor is necessary due to brine leaks over the last several years. Brine is a non-toxic salt water solution that is the refrigerant that flows through pipes embedded in the concrete.
The RDCK says the floor has performed well, but it has surpassed its intended life of approximately 35-40 years. Staff have already made numerous repairs to leaking brine lines, primarily in the floor at the east end of the arena where the brine lines exit through the board footings.
The repairs will require the closure of the arena for about six months.
“The replacement of the floor is being planned for spring/summer of 2023, so we can minimize the impact of the closure on ice users,” said Joe Chirico, general manager of community services at the RDCK. “The full plan for the work, including timing, will be developed in the coming months. We will advise ice users of any impacts when we know more.”
“The Castlegar and District Recreation Commission understands the importance of the ice arena and will work closely with the facility staff and management to try and minimize the inconvenience with all the user groups,” said Dan Rye, chair of the Castlegar and District Recreation Commission. “This is a necessary repair that when completed will have the arena floor ready to use for years to come.”
Some options the RDCK is considering include taking the ice out earlier than normal in March, and starting the 2023 ice season later than normal. The Pioneer Arena ice season may be extended to compensate.
For the 2022-2023 ice season, any leaks or repairs will be managed as needed to lessen the impacts on ice users.
“Until the new cooling floor is installed, new or worsening leaks may still occur, and more signs of floor failure may emerge that would require additional repair or remediation,” said Chirico.
“This could potentially lead to ice closures or may affect the timing of the floor replacement. We will continue to monitor the arena floor carefully in the coming months and, if anything occurs, we will communicate with arena users and the public about any changes in service.”