The slab hadn’t even cured before much of the ice time was spoken for.
Marking a milestone for Langford’s Sportsplex, the same Bry Sand crew who created the slab for the Richmond Olympic oval, poured 200 cubic metres of concrete this month to create an NHL-size foundation for the city’s new ice rink.
In the emerging tradition of embedding a loonie at centre ice, a loonie, a “lucky puck” donated by Juan de Fuca Minor Hockey and a clover representing Shamrocks lacrosse lie entombed at the centre of the slab. Crews also poured the foundation for the ice pathway that will connect the arena to the outdoor skating pond.
The slab pour moved the Sportsplex into the home stretch of work, expected now to extend over the summer.
At the beginning of the year, Langford officials were aiming for a spring finish for the $14.1 million complex at City Centre Park, but the federal government extended the use of infrastructure grants from March to October.
“We are behind schedule, but we decided to be behind,” said Coun. Lanny Seaton, chair of Langford’s parks and recreation committee. “Some suppliers said if we could wait, we could get better prices.”
For JDF Minor Hockey — a league with more kids than ice time — a new ice sheet can’t come fast enough. It’s already booked much of the weekend, morning and after school ice time for practices and games. Old timers hockey is itching for ice too, Seaton said, and school hockey programs are planning to use the rink.
“We are going to try to be operational for the minor hockey season starting in September,” he said. “(The new rink) is filling fast.”
Bowling lane equipment is scheduled to arrive in late June, after most of the building’s internal ducting and structure is completed. Surrey-based Xcalibur Bowling, operating under the name Planex, will operate 20 lanes and a restaurant, heralding the return of 10-pin bowling to the region.
Seaton said he is eager to see the arena’s heat recapture system in operation. A few feet under the slab is an eight-inch sand bed that will act as a sponge to absorb heat expelled from the ice plant.
That heat in turn will be directed into a heat pump system, designed by Victoria’s Accent Refrigeration, that can be used to warm the building in the winter and for cooling in the summer. It will also be linked into a heat exchange with Westhills geothermal system.
Accent plans to relocate itself into second floor offices in the Sportsplex.
“I want to say we’ve built the greenest arena in Canada,” Seaton said. “We’re lucky to partner with a company that builds arenas all over the world. The fact Accent will maintain this for us is a bonus.”