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Trying to stay cool in Rankin
New compressor, minor repairs underway at arena

Darrell Greer
Northern News Services
Published Monday, September 12, 2011

Work began on replacing a compressor and doing minor repairs to the artificial ice-making system in Rankin Inlet this past week.

NNSL photo/graphic

Dave Poitras of Gateway Mechanical records the readings from a control box while working on the ice-making system at the Rankin Inlet arena this past week. - Darrell Greer/NNSL photo

The system, which is designed to use three compressors, has been running on two since one gave out more than a year ago.

The loss of the compressor resulted in a number of problems this past season, including the ice surface needing longer to freeze after being flooded by the Zamboni.

Rankin recreation co-ordinator David Clark said he hopes to have the arena open by the first or second week in October.

He said that should leave ample time for teams to be ready for the start of the regular season near the end of the month.

"Some problems with the ice plant delayed the start of our hockey season two years ago," said Clark.

"Then, this past year, we were a little late getting everything up and running because of renovations being done to the washroom and lobby areas.

"While hockey started pretty much on time, some members of the curling club weren't too happy about their season starting a bit late."

Refrigeration mechanic Dave Poitras of Gateway Mechanical in Edmonton, Alta., was in Rankin this past week to begin work on the ice plant.

Clark said the hamlet was approved for funding through the sport and recreation division (formerly Sport Nunavut) of the Department of Culture, Language, Elders and Youth to help with the work.

He said it's going to be another busy season in Rankin, with the usual lineup of tournaments taking place and teams preparing for the 2012 Arctic Winter Games in Whitehorse, Yukon.

"We received about $18,000 from the sport and recreation division's facility improvement contribution program, and the hamlet picked up the rest of the cost.

"Being down a compressor was also one of the reasons for the late start to the curling season last year.

"The two compressors we did have going functioned OK, but it's harder for our arena staff when we're not at full capacity.

"That's especially true with big crowds when tournaments come along, because we can't keep up with the temperature in the building."

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