Saturday, December 7, 2013
From staff reports
PORTLAND - Just in time for cooling weather, the Portland Ice Arena is reopening Tuesday.
Anthony Reynolds, a Portland Ice Arena employee, spreads glue for new rubber matting in one of the locker rooms of the renovated facility. The arena reopens Tuesday after being closed since May.
Gordon Chibroski/Staff Photographer
The indoor rink has undergone extensive repairs, with a complete renovation of the sub-floor the ice is built on and the rink's cooling system, said D.J. Whitten, the arena's manager.
Whitten said leaks and inconsistent cooling by the previous ice-making system resulted in a rough surface.
The new system has more energy-efficient pumps, 11 miles of new refrigeration and sub-floor heating pipes and a new chilling plant/compressor. The work required the ice arena to be closed since May.
"Our new stone dust floor is perfectly level and the sheet of ice is impeccable, like it should be," Whitten said.
Most of the work, which Whitten said cost about $600,000, was paid for from energy efficiency bonds the city authorized last year. The bond money -- up to $11 million -- is to be used to pay for replacement equipment or new technology that will result in more efficient use of energy in city buildings.
The city is also expecting to receive rebates from the Efficiency Maine program that will be used to reduce the city's cost of the repairs and new equipment.
In addition to the work on the ice rink, Whitten said the building's interior was cleaned and painted and common areas and locker rooms got new rubber flooring to replace the flooring that was original to the 27-year-old building.
Roughly 90 percent of the cost of running the arena is covered by user fees from public skating and hockey teams that play there. Subsidies from Portland taxpayers in the past have ranged from as little as $828 to nearly $144,000 a year.
To mark the reopening, Whitten said the ice arena will hold a ribbon-cutting and a free public skate from 3 to 6 p.m. Saturday.
The arena's schedule is posted at www.portlandicearena.com.