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Jan. 29, 2022 | Saturday
Local News
Work begins on Virgil's outdoor community rink
Ian Zancola and his crew put up the barriers for the new community rink. (Richard Harley)

The first posts went in the ground Sunday morning for the new community ice rink in Virgil.

Paolo Miele, a former town councillor and driving force behind the rink initiative, was at his diner serving hungry customers when the work began. He said while he's looking forward to it, the rink will have to wait until the weather is a bit cooler.

Back at the Virgil Sports Park, the walls of the rink were being set up and levelled out on the baseball diamond near the concession stands.

Ian Zancola, owner of Hosa Rink Solutions, was working with two crew members to get the walls up.

"We're building them a basic wood frame outdoor rink, 40 feet by 80 feet, so we'll lay out the dimensions, make sure everything is square. Then we'll place a wooden frame down, it's supported by L-frame brackets."

"We'll fabricate all that to the slope of the diamond as well because obviously it's not perfectly flat. That ensures that you'll get flat level ice," he said.

"Then in about a week or so, once the weather gets colder, we come back and put in a eight-millimetre poly white liner. That will hold the water, it'll freeze and then they'll have a great ice rink to skate all year."

He said the size of the rink would have a maximum capacity of about 50 to 75 people.

That "would be packed," he noted, adding he's not sure what the official capacity of the rink will be set at.

There will be no automatic cooling, however. "We're relying on Mother Nature," Zancola said.

He said there are a couple of options to flood the rink, but imagines it'll be the simplest one — "Whoever their volunteers or workers are, they'll shovel all this snow off or when it gets to chopped up, shovel it off, and then they're hooking up to a hose in here and they just pull the hose out and just flood it with water so it's nice and shiny again."

Zancola, who also runs a hockey arena as his full-time job, started his rink-building company in September of this year and has already built about 20 rinks.

He said the idea came to him at the end of last season, after COVID closed many arenas and parents and kids were looking for outdoor places to skate.

Miele said next year he hopes to be able to install an automatic cooling system to keep the ice frozen all season.

 

 

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