New Arena Sport­ing Pretty Cool Tech­nol­ogy

Stanstead Journal - - NEWS - Made­line Mul­hol­land Stanstead

The new Pat Burns Arena will be hold­ing its’ of­fi­cial open­ing cer­e­monies on the week­end of Septem­ber 23rd to 25th. De­spite this, the arena un­of­fi­cially opened its’ doors to the pub­lic ear­lier this sum­mer, as the main struc­ture and ice were com­pleted some time ago. The grand open­ing is sched­uled to take place only upon com­ple­tion of those con­struc­tion projects cur­rently out­stand­ing, none of which in­volve the ac­tual rink it­self. The ice was uti­lized this sum­mer by lo­cal hockey camps and hockey clubs rent­ing ice time. Stanstead Col­lege ran a Girl’s Hockey Camp for teens this sum­mer, while Arena Di­rec­tor, Marc Par­ent, in col­lab­o­ra­tion with his fa­ther, ran a hockey camp for younger kids start­ing at age 6.

When the Arena price tag was orig­i­nally dis­cussed, prior to con­struc­tion, we all know there was a great deal of dis­sen­sion. Many peo­ple feared taxes would be raised, there would be cost over­runs, or the Arena would fail to help the town eco­nom­i­cally. That be­ing said, it is hard to walk through the front doors of the new Pat Burns Arena and not be im­me­di­ately im­pressed. Hu­man na­ture be­ing what it is, those look­ing to rent ice time will nat­u­rally want to do so in a new, state-of-the-art arena rather than an ‘old barn’, as Stanstead once owned. And our new arena cer­tainly fits the bill when it comes to mod­ern ac­com­mo­da­tions.

The new arena will con­tain a restau­rant, a gym, a phys­io­ther­apy room, a com­mu­nity room avail­able for pri­vate events, and a VIP room for guest spec­ta­tors at hockey tour­na­ments. The locker rooms and show­ers are ev­ery hockey player’s dream, cer­tainly a cou­ple of steps up from the old arena fa­cil­i­ties. When you en­ter the bath­rooms and locker rooms, the lights go on au­to­mat­i­cally, and they shut off with your de­par­ture. Show­ers are built be­tween locker rooms so, while the teams can share the shower fa­cil­i­ties, locker rooms are locked to pre­vent non-team mem­bers from ac­cess­ing each other’s locker rooms. Stanstead Col­lege holds three of the locker

rooms for their use dur­ing the school year, while 6 oth­ers are used for vis­i­tors and lo­cal teams rent­ing the ice.

When the price tag for this arena was dis­cussed, there were many ques­tion­ing how an Arena could cost so many mil­lions of dol­lars. How­ever, when one looks be­hind the scenes in or­der to in­ves­ti­gate the mech­a­nisms in place to keep the arena an arena, as op­pose to a pub­lic pool, one sees where a good deal of money may have gone. The com­pres­sor re­spon­si­ble for main­tain­ing the tem­per­a­ture of both the arena and the ice is a mag­nif­i­cently ‘cool’ piece of tech­nol­ogy. The fact it is as large as some homes I have vis­ited, may ac­count for its’ cost. It is a me­chan­i­cal mon­ster housed in its’ own two storey room, with lit­tle space re­main­ing. It uti­lizes the out­side tem­per­a­ture to help cool and heat wa­ter, as it is pumped to the roof and back for use by the com­pres­sor. The sys­tem is a ‘closed sys­tem’ that re­uti­lizes its’ wa­ter, re­cy­cling it so re­plen­ish­ment is not re­quired. The tech­nol­ogy is quite im­pres­sive, as is the ma­chine it­self. It has hold­ing tanks of ‘ice’ that are re­plen­ished dur­ing the night when the mas­ter tem­per­a­ture is raised to a warmer tem­per­a­ture to al­low the com­pres­sors to rest and the ice tanks to re­fill them­selves. The alarm panel is de­signed to alert main­te­nance staff if there is a prob­lem, with num­bered alarm lights to help iden­tify spe­cific prob­lems more quickly.

De­spite the of­fi­cial open­ing for the Pat Burns Arena be­ing sched­uled for late Septem­ber, I re­com- mend those who ques­tion whether the Pat Burns Arena was a good idea sched­ule a few mo­ments to tour our new fa­cil­ity. One can­not help but feel a sense of com­mu­nity pride when a town the size of Stanstead suc­ceeds in ac­com­plish­ing a goal of this mag­ni­tude. The arena is magnificent. Mr. Par­ent, re­spon­si­ble for rent­ing the ice time, has stated pa­trons that left in the past to rent at Jay Peak have al­ready come back to Stanstead this year. The arena will sell it­self when hockey en­thu­si­asts walk through the front door and en­ter locker rooms ca­pa­ble of wel­com­ing them by turn­ing on the lights when their move­ment is de­tected. The com­mu­nity room is avail­able for pri­vate rental and the other fa­cil­i­ties will also gen­er­ate in­come. The arena did not have any cost over­runs and was com­pleted on sched­ule, which some may con­sider re­mark­able. My over­all im­pres-

Rink from spec­ta­tor gallery above sion was very pos­i­tive and op­ti­mistic. There is no doubt this arena can at­tract the busi­ness it was in­tended to and gen­er­ate pride on the part of the town who dreamt large enough to make it hap­pen. more pic­tures p. 19

Photo Made­line Mul­hol­land

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.