Ice ice baby

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Outside folks were walking around in shorts and t-shirts on a balmy September afternoon but inside the arena it was jackets, toques and frozen breath for the town-crew diligently building up the layer of ice on the pad.

It takes about two days for the pad to even get cold enough to start the icing.

A sure sign that winter is coming, the classic white paint is put down first on top of over half a centimetre of ice, covered and sealed with more ice and then then followed by the lines, circles and logos.

“It’s kind of like folding steel, it makes it stronger,” said the recreation department’s Rob Cady about the crisscrossing pattern followed by the crew.

Michael Whittington and Vincent Beauregard hauled the sprinkler system first length-wise and then width-wise across the surface over and over again.

Lifeguards Jenna Koshney and Gabi Feller, normally used to bathing suits, Fox 40 whistles and the warm, liquid water in the pool, were decked out in coveralls and jackets. They were having fun on the slippery surface while helping out by keeping the hose from getting tangled.

Facility maintenance coordinator Sherry Belanger said everybody’s been working pretty hard over the past couple weeks during the clean up at the centre and it’s a good change of scenery to get the lifeguards working in the arena.

There’s going to be a slight change to the look of the ice this year. Belanger came up with the idea to turn the face-off circles into maple leafs, giving the wooden-raftered arena an even more Canadian atmosphere.

“Hopefully the refs aren’t mad,” Adam Grose, the recreation manager, said laughing. “We didn’t ask them before hand.”

“They’ve taken a lot of care with the ice this year,” he said of the ice crew.

This was Cady’s third time helping put in the ice and he said it’s the quickest he has seen the process completed.

The crews would speed up the freezing process once the ice was thick enough to handle the zamboni, but until then it was all done by hand.

The ice pad should be ready by Monday, Sept. 22 for the first free open skate of the season from 4:30 - 6:30 p.m. and they will run all week. The recreation centre is back in shape with the pool, after undergoing maintenance for the past three weeks, opening as well.




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