Cranbrook is getting an early Christmas present as the Memorial Arena is set to open on Wednesday, Dec. 19 — a few weeks ahead of schedule.
The arena has been closed since the summer after a chiller unit failed, causing an ammonia leak that was quickly addressed by city staff, Fire and Emergency Services and an outside contractor.
“I would like to thank and commend our arena supervisor Mike Majkowski for his quick response to the ammonia leak and the safe shutdown of the Memorial Arena,” says Mayor Lee Pratt. “I would also like to thank all the staff with Community Services for all of their efforts with the user groups and scheduling to accommodate all of them.
“Finally, a huge thank you to the public and all the user groups for their patience and cooperation with each other and our staff throughout this closure. I am very happy to see the Memorial back in service.”
The chiller unit failure prompted the city to replace the system with a heat exchanger, which is more efficient and uses significantly less ammonia. Extensive renovations and piping work was needed to accomodate the new heat exchanger system, which had closed the facilty and adjoining Kinsmen Arena for the last four months.
“Staff is excited to get the Memorial Arena back up and running and look forward to welcoming all our user groups back into the facilities,” says Stacy Paulsen, Facility Operations Manager with the City. “Staff has really appreciated the patience and understanding of the public while the arenas were non-operational.”
The city says it will be working with all user groups to organize ice time schedules for the Memorial Arena, as well as scheduling some public skating sessions over the holiday season.
The Kinsmen Arena, along with skate rentals, should be available in the coming weeks and is expected to be fully operational by Jan. 2.