Arenas manager Gavin Hamblin updates the SRD board on the ice plant. Photo by Mike Chouinard/Campbell River Mirror

Strathcona Regional District awards contract for new arena ice system

Strathcona Gardens will use temporary Freon system for Arena 2 for rest of season

The SRD board has moved to prepare a contract for a new ice system at Strathcona Gardens.

Part of the Strathcona Gardens REC-REATE PROJECT includes an energy recovery component worth just over $4.6 million. This breaks down into four main components: an energy recovery system, high efficiency air handlers, ice melting pits and photo-voltaic solar system.

RELATED STORY: Energy upgrades to move ahead at Campbell River recreation complex

Installing a carbon-dioxide-based refrigeration system system for the arenas will be at the top of the list. At the Dec. 6 board, the SRD passed a motion to draw up a contract for the work for CIMCO Refrigeration Ltd. The timing was a bit of coincidence in light of the recent closure of the arena following the detection of a small amount of ammonia from one of the arena’s ice plants.

RELATED STORY: Arena services partially resume after ammonia leak in Campbell River

As Gavin Hamblin, manager of arenas and facility operations, told the board the replacement of the arena ice plants was planned to be done at an early stage. The SRD had already diagnosed some issues with its equipment as well.

“Our infrastructure was aging and needed to be taken care of,” he told the board.

An incident in Fernie, B.C., in which three workers died as a result of exposure to an ammonia leak at the local arena, also made changes a greater priority. Hamblin said there were changes around regulations and enforcement in the province. This resulted in decommissioning some equipment locally.

As far as the energy upgrade work, the Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) Strategic Priorities Fund, previously known as Gas Tax funding, had granted the SRD approximately $4.6 million as part of the REC-REATE project. An SRD staff report puts the cost of replacing both ammonia plants at Strathcona Gardens at $1.9 million.

The SRD had undertaken an energy study as part of the schematic design process for the recreation complex. One of the recommendations was to replace the ammonia system for the arena with a carbon dioxide system.

“It’s a proprietary system, it’s patented in Canada, and they’re the only operators capable of installing it,” Hamblin said. “There’s a lot of advantages to switching to CO2.”

Among these, according to a staff report, are that it eliminates need for a full-time operator and annual inspections of older equipment and removes safety concerns from ammonia. The reports also indicates it is more efficient and should reduce operating costs.

Charlie Cornfield, one of the Campbell River directors on the SRD board, asked whether CIMCO would be the only company that could do maintenance or repairs. Hamblin responded that this was not necessarily the case and this work could be put out through a separate tendering process.

He also answered a question from Area C Director Jim Abram that the CIMCO model is a completely closed system in terms of emitting carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

Area D Director Brenda Leigh asked whether the new carbon-dioxide equipment will be located inside or outside the building. Hamblin said most of it will be inside the building, which he explained will make it easier for them to monitor in the event of any leaks.

Hamblin also updated the board about the leak at Arena 2. Staff had noticed temperature issues with the ice plant. Subsequent investigation revealed a small leak from an evaporative condenser outside the building.

“It was just trace amounts of ammonia leaking out over a period of time,” he said.

The SRD will be using a temporary Freon-based refrigeration plant for the neat future.

“It’s a stand-alone plant that is going to operate … for the rest of the season,” he added.

Just Posted

The water level at the Upper Campbell Reservoir behind Strathcona Dam (left of picture) is currently rising slowly, BC Hydro says but it is forecasted to be in the low end of the expected recreation target range due to drier than average conditions. This photo was taken in mid-March 2021. Photo by Alistair Taylor/Campbell River Mirror
Conditions turn drier than normal in Campbell River watershed

BC Hydro forecasts another year of low summer reservoir levels and Campbell River flows.

NIC’s new president Lisa Domae assumed the role of president on April 12. Domae has worked at NIC since 2000, most recently as the executive vice president, academic and chief operating officer. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
New North Island College president launches draft strategic plan

Lisa Domae assumed the role of president on April 12, 2021

From left are Michael Siemens, Ben Cyphery from the Young Professionals of Campbell River, Trudy Parry from the Better at Home project, and Michaela Arruda, Amanda Raleigh and Kelsey Anglin of the Young Professionals of Campbell River. Photo by Marc Kitteringham, Campbell River Mirror
Young Professionals raise over $6,000 for Better at Home project

Virtual dinner party held to raise funds for seniors

Nathan Zuk had left his mother’s residence in Whaletown on Cortes Island in mid-December 2020 in a 14’ skiff rowboat and headed to an unknown location near the Pryce Channel, Deer passage, or Toba Inlet. Photo courtesy RCMP
RCMP need help finding man who set off from Cortes Island in 14-foot rowboat

Nathan Zuk left in December, may have been last seen in Toba Inlet approximately three weeks ago

An avalanche near Highway 1 in Glacier National Park. Avalanche Canada will benefit from a $10 million grant from the B.C. government. (Photo by Parks Canada)
Avalanche Canada receives $10-million grant from B.C. government

Long sought-after funds to bolster organization’s important work

The new wing at the Victoria International Airport opened up on Thursday (File contributed/YYJ)
Pandemic takes ‘hundreds of millions’ out of Victoria Airport, Vancouver Island economy

Airport authority head says passenger volumes down as much as 98 per cent

The top photo is of a real carbine rifle, while the bottom photo is the airsoft rifle seized from a Kelowna man on May 15. (Contributed)
RCMP issue warning: ‘Imitation firearms need to be dealt with responsibly’

A man brandishing his airsoft rifle in public had his weapon seized by Mounties on Saturday

Reigning women’s World Champion Kaetlyn Osmond, who also took bronze at the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, will debut two brand new programs for the 2021 Stars On Ice tour, in Victoria May 15. (File photo)
Kurt Browning, Elvis Stojko hit the ice when Stars On Ice returns to Vancouver Island

The star-studded lineup is makes a return after pandemic hiatus

Abbotsford Regional Hospital. (Black Press Media files)
Canada marks 25,000 COVID-19 deaths since the pandemic began

6 in every 10,000 Canadians died of COVID-19 since March 9, 2020

Staff-Sgt. Svend Nielsen, with the 100 Mile House RCMP. (Melissa Smalley - 100 Mile Free Press)
14-year-old boy killed in serious ATV crash near 100 Mile House

Youth was travelling with a group of peers when the incident occurred last Friday

Relief is coming for B.C.’s struggling tourism sector. (NEWS file photo)
B.C. officials set to announce more support for tourism sector hit hard by pandemic

Non-essential travel is restricted between three regional zones in B.C. until at least May 24

This image released by Universal Pictures shows Nathalie Emmanuel, left, and Vin Diesel in a scene from “F9.” (Giles Keyte/Universal Pictures via AP)
The blockbuster movie is making a comeback this summer

Excitement in the industry is growing again for a return to a big-screen normal

More “strings of lights” were seen on May 15, 2021, in night sky over Vancouver Island. (File photo)

Most Read