Chicago ice arena to undergo $3.2 million ammonia refrigeration upgrade
21.04.2015 Спорт

Chicago ice arena to undergo $3.2 million ammonia refrigeration upgrade

The second phase of a $3.2 million upgrade to the Franklin Park ice arena will see the replacement of a four-decade-old refrigeration system with a dual cooling system using ammonia and glycol. Scheduled for April 27 until August 17, the arena's entire refrigeration will be replaced including breaking the concrete floor under the ice, removing the pipes and disposing of 3175 kg of freon refrigerant. 

Figure skaters and hockey players in Franklin Park will have to go elsewhere for ice this summer.

The second phase of a $3.2 million upgrade to the ice arena is scheduled for April 27 through August 17. During the second phase, the arena's entire refrigeration system will be replaced.

That includes breaking the concrete floor under the ice on the main arena and removing the pipes along with disposing of 7,000 pounds of freon refrigerant. In the place of freon will be a dual cooling system using both ammonia and ethylene glycol.

"It's much safer," said Joe Modrich, director of the Park District of Franklin Park. "There's no worry about losing refrigerant to the atmosphere."

The boards and glass around the ice will also be replaced and the lobby will get new rubber flooring. Steps in the main arena will be replaced by ramps.

Last year, during the first phase, a new roof and entryway were built.

The ice arena was built in 1974 at a cost of $1.5 million. Most of the refrigeration system is 41 years old.

"The [upgrade] takes away the worry of an unplanned closure due to the age of the current system," Modrich said.

The entire cost of the project will be paid for from park district funds. About one-third will come from the district's capital project funds and the other two-thirds from money generated by the arena over the years.

"It would be in the top five [most expensive] projects" since the park district started 51 years ago, Modrich said.

The year-round ice arena tends to attract more users during the winter with a variety leagues and classes although the summer gets a good amount of camps and groups. The park district is steering skaters to ice rinks in Bensenville, Park Ridge and Oak Park while its arena is closed.

The last date to skate before the project starts is April 24.

chicagotribune.com

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