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.”