Ice Arena 1-MT031822_web
Local News

H-F ice rink being stripped of its inner workings

The park district is preparing for a total renovation of the refrigeration system at the ice arena after its old ice making system failed in November causing a shutdown of the facility at 777 Kedzie Ave. in Flossmoor.

Parks employee Kenny Nye uses a backhoe to remove sand and debris from the H-F Ice Arena at the start of repair work. (Marilyn Thomas)


Ever wonder how the ice gets made for an ice arena?

“It’s pretty amazing when you see it like this,” said Doug Boehm, superintendent of parks and planning at the Homewood-Flossmoor Park District, while standing in the middle of what was the H-F Ice Arena rink.

The park district is preparing for a total renovation of the refrigeration system at the ice arena after its old ice making system failed in November causing a shutdown of the facility at 777 Kedzie Ave. in Flossmoor.

Parks employee Kenny Nye uses a backhoe to remove sand and debris from the H-F Ice Arena at the start of repair work. (Marilyn Thomas)

The park district is expected to approve a contract for a new refrigeration system at a special meeting March 29. In the meantime, parks employees Andrew Presnak and Kenny Nye have been stripping the ice rink of its innards.

Presnak, ice arena maintenance supervisor, said the rink is built upon a layer of gravel that serves as a subflooring. Then two layers of insulating foam board are laid on top. A plastic vapor barrier is laid on top separating the foam from the 150 pipes that measure 200-feet in length.

The refrigerant solution would fill the pipes that were covered with about four inches of sand. Presnak said when the sand freezes “it’s hard as a rock.”

Presnak and Nye have been working over the past two weeks to clear the rink. They cut the stainless steel piping, bundled it and took it to a recycling center. Their efforts netted $10,756 for the park district.

Engineers have been out to measure the depth of the core to make sure the ground is stable, Boehm said. The park district is working with W.B. Olson, Inc., the project’s construction manager. Presnak said he is part of the park district team on the project. The plan is to get the ice arena reopened in November.

The smaller rink at the ice arena won’t get the same hands-on treatment by park staff. It’s set in concrete and will require jackhammers to break it up, Boehm said.

Two layers of foam board were under the pipes that filled with refrigerant to make the ice at the H-F Ice Arena. (Marilyn Thomas)

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