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Council looks at Kinsmen Arena needs

Westland Insurance Arena ice plant needs work too
kinsmen arena
The Kinsmen Arena in Yorkton needs several upgrades to stay viable to use.
YORKTON - How to keep the Kinsmen Arena viable for at least the next 15 years was the question Yorkton Council had asked. 

At their regular meeting Monday, they got their answer. 

To upgrade the Kinsmen Arena with a new refrigeration system, refrigerated slab floor, new arena boards and a dehumidification system, would be an estimated budget of $2,775,460. 

But, there were other things to consider too, in particular the very old ice plant at the Gallagher Centre. 

“A review of the Westland Arena Refrigeration system was also completed to inform Council’s direction related to ice arenas,” explained Darcy McLeod – Director of Community Development, Parks & Recreation, with the City. 

The review suggested the Westland Arena refrigeration system is also in need of significant improvements, regardless of Council’s decision on arena locations, said McLeod. 

“The Gallagher Centre has an ammonia refrigeration system complete with two screw compressors and two separate chillers, one for the curling rink, and one for the Westland Arena. The majority of the equipment in the plant will likely need to be replaced within the next 10 years,” he said. 

Both screw compressors require an overhaul immediately. 

“Rather than overhauling the screw compressors, we may want to consider replacing the existing screw compressor package with two or more reciprocating compressors. Replacing the screw compressors with reciprocating compressors would be more costly than overhauling the screw compressor (approximately $190,000.00 vs. $155,000.00 for the overhauls),” said McLeod. 

“However, the reciprocating compressors will be more efficient, and would simplify the refrigeration system and its controls.” 

Overall, in 15 years McLeod said several projects are likely to be needed at the Gallagher Centre including; 

* In the first 5 years – $350,000 – $395,000 (depends on which compressor option is selected). Screw compressor overhauls/replacement, controls system, curling chiller, hockey chiller and underfloor brine heater, which allows for the heating of the slab to more easily remove ice.

* Years 6-10 - $170,000 – Condenser, two hockey brine pumps and two curling brine pumps.

* Years 11-15 – $30,000 - two condenser water pumps, underfloor brine heat pump. 

As for the Kinsmen Arena three separate consultants were used to generate the info requested by Council. 

The arena was originally constructed in 1972. There have been a couple of additions to the non-rink areas, as well as the ancillary areas of the building since that time. 

The rink area of the building is approximately 20,000 square feet, with approximately 1,800 square feet of this designated as spectator area. 

Beginning with the refrigeration system review by Strong Refrigeration out of Saskatoon. The following non-code related refrigeration items will likely need to be addressed over a 15-year horizon, remembering that there is no guarantee that anything would specifically fail or remain operating.

* In the first 5 years – $100,000 – The Chiller and two oil separators.

* Years 6-10 - $180,000 – Condenser, desuperheater for snow-melt pit, underfloor brine heater, hockey brine pump, underfloor heat pump, condenser water pump. 

Codes and interpretations have evolved over time and therefore best practices have evolved with them. In the wake of major safety incidents in arenas recently, the Authorities having Jurisdiction have significantly increased inspection and enforcement of codes and standard requirements related to ammonia refrigeration plants, explained McLeod, adding there are a number of code and safety –related issues at the arena too. 

The arena floor was reviewed by BST Consultants of Edmonton. 

Information was gathered by performing a visual walk through of the arena and recording a slab survey on approximate 20ft. gridlines. A rough mapping of the larger cracks in the floor was also completed. No testing was carried out to the refrigerated floor assembly to determine under slab conditions, explained McLeod. 

The slab was built in 1972 using conventional LDPE (low density polyethylene) rink pipe clamped to steel headers which were replaced approximately 20 years ago with PVC headers. Substantial heaving, mostly on the north side of the rink has resulted in cracking in all axis of travel. The differential heaving in the slab has resulted in inconsistent ice and increased maintenance costs. 

“The life expectancy of refrigerated concrete floors is 35 years on average with few lasting to approximately 40 years (though not without signs of strain). This floor was built approximately 49 years ago and has long surpassed its intended life cycle,” said McLeod. 

“The consultant has indicated that this facility is 49 years old and it is of utmost importance to recognize the fragile state of the arena pipe. It is very likely the pipe walls are extremely thin due to wear from constant flow of brine solution through them, and they know from historical precedence that it is only a matter of time before leaks are inevitable. At this age, the floor could experience many leaks in the same season, enough to cause loss of ice and loss of facility use for the remaining season. The consultant further indicates that not many floors last this long and it is surprising that failure has not yet been realized. One circuit on the north end of the rink has already been compromised and shut off. Should an adjacent circuit be lost then the cooling may not be able to bridge that area.

“There are numerous thin cracks in the concrete that are typical in the cement curing process, however there is also a significant number of large cracks, which is indicative of heaving. The consultant indicates that there are more cracks of a diagonal nature in this slab than in similar aged slabs that they have seen. These diagonal cracks are indicative of tremendous pressure in the substrate.

“Frost penetration is almost assured without a fully functioning heat floor system present and relies on the seasonal shut down to allow that frost to thaw, thereby minimizing the heaving effect and resulting cracking. Given that the heat floor system is only partially intact, the condition of this floor will continue to deteriorate. 

“These floors have typically lasted approximately 35-40 years with average use. At roughly 49 years, this slab has surpassed its life expectancy and plans to replace it as soon as possible should be taken. Of significant concern is the partially failed heat floor system and the resulting heaving which will likely lead to additional cracking, inconsistent ice, increased liability, maintenance staff time/costs, and possible failure. The concrete elevation differences requiring more water than average cause increased power consumption.” 

The estimated cost to replace the refrigerated floor system at the Kinsmen Arena is $835,000 plus a contingency of $300,000 (36 percent) for unexpected conditions as previously described. Engineering fees have been included in the consultant’s estimated cost. Add six percent P.S.T. $68,100 and the expected budget for this portion of the project is $1,203,100.

A dehumidification review was undertaken by R.J. England Consulting of Regina. 

R.J. Consulting conducted a site review of the Kinsmen Arena rink area and Zamboni room ventilation systems in order to provide a report that addresses any upgrades that are required to:

* Ensure the Arena and Zamboni Room ventilation systems will comply with code.

* Ensure the arena is safe to ensure that there is adequate ventilation to prevent people from falling ill due to poor indoor air quality due to high levels of carbon monoxide (CO), carbon Dioxide (CO2), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), etc.

* Ensure efficient and effective dehumidification.

* Ensure appropriate pressurization of spaces to counteract leaks in the existing building envelope.

* Complete sizing and preliminary selection of the required dehumidifiers.

* Provide an estimated cost for installation of dehumidifier(s), including natural gas connections. 

The estimated costs for the dehumidification upgrades to the Kinsmen Arena is $610,000 (which includes a $105,000 contingency allocated by the consultant), plus 10% engineering fees of $61,000 and P.S.T. of $40,260 establish a total budget of $711,260.

A quote on new arena boards and glass from Global Sports Resources of Leduc, AB. was also included. 

The estimated cost is $195,000 plus P.S.T. of $11,700 for a total of $206,700. This includes removal and disposal of the existing boards and glass, new player’s boxes with flooring and benches, including those required in the penalty box along with a scorekeeper’s table. 

The Kinsmen Arena dressing rooms and common areas will not be modernized. Significant investment is anticipated to complete this work, given the requirement to upgrade from legal, non-conforming to modern code compliance. What that means and what it might cost would require further work, noted McLeod. 

“The value of recommended work required to ensure that the Kinsmen Arena can support ice activities for the next 15 years is estimated at $2,775,460,” he said. 

“Immediate work is also recommended for the Gallagher Centre refrigeration system by the refrigeration consultant. This amount has been estimated at $1,084,260. 

“Therefore, in order to ensure that both arenas are able to function as effectively and efficiently as possible as well as ensure reliable service to the community, a total estimated $3,860,260 would be required.” 

Council would support a motion that the decision be deferred to the 2022 budget process, where Administration would provide funding options and scenarios for Council consideration as part of the 2022 budget process.


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