The Pipestone Community Outdoor Skating Rink has a new facelift this winter season.
After finding concerns regarding the old boards at the rink, they were officially deemed unsafe by the Pipestone Community Society and Pipestone School staff. The old boards had faced many seasons and were rotting and some had nails poking out.
The rink was initially built before the 1970s and the previous boards had never been replaced.
One of the Pipestone Community committee members, James Huber, saw an add for new boards in June and immediately the rest of the community committee agreed that the Pipestone Community Society should purchase them for the rink.
The new boards were purchased second hand from the old Golf Dome in south Edmonton.
“It was a perfect fit for our scenario,” said one of community committee members, Andy Dansereau.
“We went in, a group of us went in there and ripped it down and transported it,” said Director of the rink renovations and community committee member, Dave Pockrant. Within a week of the boards purchase the community committee members handling the rink had the boards taken out of the Golf Dome and transported the Pipestone Community Rink.
After a few trials and tribulations of setting up and aligning the boards, the volunteers were ready to start the process of installing the boards, which including hiring contractors and working with them on welding, digging, and attaching the proper security for the boards.
The four main volunteers and community members that worked on the rink, James Huber, Colton Huber, Dave Pockrant, and Andy Dansereau each put in approximately 600 volunteer hours.
After the board instillation the core volunteers installed a chain-link fence on the far sides of the rink. Using chain-link instead of plexi-glass allowed for the rink maintentance team, the same group of volunteers who renovated the rink, to snow-blow the ice and reduce puck loss into the trees behind the rink.
This spring before the beginning of the renovations, 189 pucks were retrieved from the wooded area next to the rink.
They estimate that the fence will be able to keep about 90 per cent of the pucks in the rink, versus before when there was no barrier.
Ice is currently being created and Pockrant says it will likely be complete by the weekend of Nov.28-29.
Participants at the rink are asked to be respectful of one another and stay within their cohorts as well as social distance from others. Masks are not mandatory, but are highly recommended when in the skating shack, as well as reducing the amount of people inside at one time.
However, all AHS provincial mandates are to be followed, and these rules may be subject to change.
There are no rental times for the rink and it is free for community use. The core rink volunteers want to thank the Pipestone School staff for all their help and cooperation with the renovations, as the rink is located on school property.