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posted December 30, 2006
The rink beside Wallace-Emerson Community Centre has been completely rebuilt, at a cost of over $1 million. The reason for rebuilding was to install a different kind of cooling system, which would use less ammonia (regarded as an explosion hazard). Since the rink was being rebuilt anyway, Councillor Adam Giambrone arranged for some improvements: a more interesting pleasure-skating rink (oval) and a less dingy change room. The shape of the new hockey rink is also easier for the zamboni to clean.
Thatís the good news. The bad news is (1) the project went so slowly that the rink remained closed for most of the Christmas school holidays; (2) the designer forgot drainage holes and also made it more troublesome for the zamboni operators to fill their water tank; (3) thereís still no garage to house a zamboni (Wallace is the only double rink without its own); and (4) the stairs that were added last year to connect the rink with the rest of the park, and the parking lot, have gone missing.
It seems that the Cityís project supervisor (who changed halfway through) was unavailable to collaborate with the Cityís rink maintenance staff at all. Later in January, rink friends from this area will submit a City Outdoor Rinks Report to City Councilís Parks Committee, recommending some changes in how such projects get done in future.
But for now: itís time to have an opening party. On Sunday January 14 there will be DJ music for skaters, a campfire with food, and a ribbon-cutting by Councillor Adam Giambrone. This is a collaboration between the three rink staffs. Thereís plenty to admire, in the airy new rink change-room, and the pleasure-skating rink in the round, and the music will be fine. Come and have a skate at a rink thatís not crowded!