Warm weather causes arena woes

Hu­mid­ity has been a prob­lem at Sandy Wick­ens Me­mo­rial Arena


While the ex­tended sum­mer- like weather this fall has been a pleas­ant bonus for most peo­ple; the un­ex­pected dou­ble- digit temps have been caus­ing some is­sues at the Sandy Wick­ens Me­mo­rial Arena in Bar­ring­ton.

Hu­mid­ity at the arena has been high and the 22-year-old de­hu­mid­i­fier at the arena has not been able to keep up.

“The big­gest prob­lem is con­den­sa­tion fog­ging up the glass, mak­ing it hard for spec­ta­tors to see,” said Rob Frost, chief ad­min­is­tra­tive of­fi­cer for the Mu­nic­i­pal­ity of Bar­ring­ton.

The arena has two de­hu­mid­i­fi­ca­tion units that work to take the mois­ture out of the air, he ex­plained. Un­der nor­mal fall con­di­tions in­clud­ing cooler tem­per­a­tures, this is usu­ally enough to per­form its needed func­tion.

Un­for­tu­nately, a few weeks af­ter open­ing one of the units stopped work­ing. This, com­bined with the warmer weather, has com­pounded the is­sue of con­den­sa­tion.

Af­ter cost­ing out a new unit, coun­cil will have to con­sider pur­chas­ing a new de­hu­mid­i­fier for $30,000.

This has not been al­lot­ted for in the bud­get and will most likely need to be taken out of the re­serve fund if this is what coun­cil de­cides to do.

Be­fore mak­ing this pur­chase coun­cil has asked that an en­gi­neer come in and give a rec­om­men­da­tion on how to pro­ceed.

“Coun­cil is com­mit­ted to the long-term im­prove­ment of the arena and wants to make sure that the money spent will en­sure that we have as lit­tle is­sues as pos­si­ble in the fu­ture,” wrote Frost in a Face­book post about the is­sue.

An en­gi­neer was sched­uled to visit the arena last week and coun­cil would make a de­ci­sion on what step to take next af­ter dis­cussing the is­sue at their coun­cil meet­ing on Nov. 14.

“Ex­tended hu­mid­ity can cer­tainly cause prob­lems,” he said. “Wood and wa­ter don’t go well to­gether.”

He says the arena’s op­er­a­tions have not been af­fected. The ice has stayed in good con­di­tion.

“The staff are work­ing very hard to do what they can to ad­dress what we can,” said Frost. “We are prob­a­bly among a very few peo­ple that are wish­ing for it to get cold out.”

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