City drawings of a $24 million upgrade proposed to Planet Ice Maple Ridge. It would include the addition of a new rink. (Artists rendering/Special to The News)

Problems delay opening of sheets at Planet Ice Maple Ridge

Getting hold of parts, making repairs mean rinks won’t be available until January: facilities manager

Problems with ice at Planet Ice are forcing the municipality to delay opening of the two rinks until at last January.

The sheets will be undergoing what facilities director Valoree Richmond calls “emergency lifecycle repairs.”

The deficiencies, as she described them, were discovered during final testing of the renovated systems for the ice arenas and the adjoining curling sheets. And, Richmond said, the repairs require immediate attention.

RELATED: Refresher for recreation re-do in Ridge

Golden Ears Winter Club curling ice is expected to be up and running as scheduled at the end of September, pending some final inspections, Richmond said.

But the issues for the arenas to the west will take more time to fix.

The two ice sheets require both a new condenser and repairs to the brine pipes under the concrete between the playing surfaces, she explained.

“The new compressor is not an off-the-shelf item and is expected to take approximately 10 to 12 weeks to be manufactured and delivered,” Richmond said, noting the down time will be used to conduct the required repairs to the pipe network that chills the ice surfaces.

“Our team is reaching out to the facility users to provide them with information and the anticipated timelines of this work. We are working with neighbouring arena operators to identify potential open ice times to address the priority needs of our clubs, while Planet Ice undertakes these essential equipment replacements and repairs.”

There are a number of teams and groups that use the rinks on a normal week.

She said the replacement of these essential components of the ice plant system are expected to result in both improved ice quality and efficiency for all three rinks.

“Our proposed January reopening estimate allows the full time needed to make the essential repairs,” Richmond concluded. “Our focus will be to do this work as quickly as we can recognizing the impact this has on our ice user community.”

PAST COVERAGE: No borrowing so far for new rec facilities



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