A steady procession of concrete trucks came and went from North Saanich’s Panorama Recreation Centre on Thursday (Aug. 3), as crews poured the facility’s brand new ice rink surface.
Over the span of approximately 12 hours, workers poured, spread, smoothed and polished the new concrete surface of Arena B — the centre’s main ice surface and home to the Junior B hockey club the Peninsula Panthers. The work is the latest phase in the replacement and upgrade of the arena, making the ice surface larger, with larger player benches and the relocation of penalty boxes and scorers’ bench.
On Thursday, Panorama got some help with the pour from the Central Saanich Fire Department. They were able to make a ladder truck available to spray water over the roof of the arena. The reason for that, said John Goodwin, Panorama’s Manager of Facilities and Operations, was to keep the building cool. He said crews needed the temperature inside the arena to be 25 degrees Celsius or less, in order for the concrete to cure correctly. If it was too hot, the concrete could crack, ruining the job and costing the facility a lot more money.
He added they were paying Central Saanich Fire $350 an hour for use of the truck — a small price to pay, to prevent the concrete from cracking and having to be replaced — something that would cost more than $200,000.
Once the concrete is pours and polished, Goodwin said water will be poured over top to allow it to cure. Once that is complete, the board, glass, benches and more will be added. He said the work could be done by the early fall, with an estimated October ice surface opening.
The new surface will give the arena a 30-year ice rink lifespan, and serve a variety of users groups from hockey and speed skating, to trade shows and lacrosse.