City removing ice from Pomeroy Sport Centre starting tomorrow

The Pomeroy Sports Centre's speed skating oval has final paint coats applied. Photo by Chris Newton

FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — If you’re looking to enjoy some public skating on the Pomeroy Sport Centre’s oval, today is your last chance this winter season.

Fort St. John city staff will begin the lengthy process of removing the ice from the speed skating oval and the two hockey rinks starting on Monday. The City’s Facilities and Grounds Director Robin Langio says that removing the ice is a particularly complicated task, especially for the building’s oval on the second floor. “The oval’s kind of tricky, it’s a lot trickier than the hockey rinks because the problem is, if the ice melts too fast on the oval, it [the water] comes over the sides, and that could cause a lot of damage.” says Langio. He says that the next step in the process is warming up the ice surface enough to break the “bond seal,” which is the first layer of ice that adheres the surface to the concrete floor of the oval. After the bond seal is broken, crews then use other machines to scoop up the remaining ice and have it removed from the building. He adds that the task of removing the ice is made more complicated by the fact that none of the ice surfaces has any floor drains, meaning that crews have to work quickly to ensure that the building doesn’t suffer any water damage.

Crews are taking the ice out this early in the season because they have to have the building prepped for the trade show, which is taking place in the first week of April this year. Staff will also be removing all the glass and boards in the rink along with the bleachers for the trade show. Another lengthy process is repainting lines on the floor for box lacrosse, since Fort St. John Minor Lacrosse will be hosting a tournament in July.

The last Progress Energy Free Skate of the season will be happening today from 12:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. today, while the last session of Parent and Child Stick and Puck is happening at the Pomeroy tonight from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m.