FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The Fort St. John Curling Club should be reopening to the sound of sweeping brooms and yelling skips the first weekend in October.
Curling Club General Manager Braden Whitford says that though maintenance ahead of reopening is slightly behind schedule, he added that the work should be done in time for the tentative reopening date of October 1st. Whitford says he and other club staff are currently fixing brine lines and making sure that the existing ice cooling system is working properly after planned upgrades to the cooling system over the summer, including the replacement of the rink’s chiller, weren’t able to be completed.
The city’s Director of Community Services Wally Ferris says that a replacement chiller was ordered by the city back in May, however a delay occurred after the manufacturer produced an initial replacement unit that failed a quality inspection, necessitating the construction of a second unit. Ferris added that though the existing unit is nearing the end of its life expectancy, it should be up to the task of keeping the ice frozen for the duration of the upcoming season. Should the chiller unexpectedly fail, Ferris says that the new chiller, which is due for delivery in the near future, would then be installed.
Despite the planned upgrades being postponed until next season, Whitford says that the rink will try to open early this year, and will be putting on open curling sessions for new and potential club members to give the ice a try, as well as possibly hosting a curling clinic provided that the club find a coach to run it. League curling is set to begin the following week in mid-October.