Rock­y­ford ral­lies for rink re­pairs

The Drumheller Mail - - FRONT PAGE - Pa­trick Ko­lafa The Drumheller Mail

A win­ter with­out curl­ing in Rock­y­ford is like … well, a win­ter with­out curl­ing in Rock­y­ford.

The Rock­y­ford Curl­ing Club is on a mission to re­pair their curl­ing rink af­ter the club made the dif­fi­cult de­ci­sion to close this sea­son.

“Our floor is built up on posts. Rock­y­ford is like a swamp, so the farm­ers, back in the day, pounded posts into the ground and made a floor and poured ce­ment on top,” ex­plains Curl­ing Club Pres­i­dent Randy Melcher. “Now those boards, trusses, and beams are all dry rot­ted out. In one place the floor has fallen like three inches.”

The con­di­tions forced the Curl­ing Club’s hand and there was no curl­ing this win­ter.

“That made it too hard to make ice, so we had a meet­ing and dis­cussed it. We had another meet­ing and found there is still in­ter­est in get­ting it go­ing again so here we are,” said Melcher.

This left about 10 teams with­out a home rink this sea­son. They also had to can­cel their bon­spiels and other spe- cial events in­clud­ing a Family Fun­spiel.

Curl­ing has been in Rock­y­ford for about 90 years. Melcher ex­plains they be­gan mak­ing ice in the 1970s. The rest of the fa­cil­ity is in good con­di­tion. About eight years ago, they re­built the outer struc­ture due to mold prob­lems.

“We had that spray-on in­su­la­tion and I guess mold re­ally loves that,” he said. “The guy that came to clean it said it is usu­ally cheaper to rip it apart and start over than it is for us for clean it. We looked at a new build­ing and he was right… we put a new build­ing around it.”

Now all they need is a new floor.

To make it all hap­pen means they need to raise the funds to re­build. Their ini­tial es­ti­mate is about $370,000. He said the con­trac­tor is willing to work with com­mu­nity mem­bers,

which may help re­duce the costs.

Melcher says they are work­ing on a grant ap­pli­ca­tion to the Com­mu­nity Fa­cil­ity En­hance­ment Pro­gram.

“Our lo­cal Lions Club is help­ing out a quite a bit and we have a loan from the Vil­lage that we will have to pay back within 18 months,” said Melcher.

They have also re­cently launched a gofundme cam­paign to hope­fully so­licit pri­vate dona­tions to sup­port the project.

Melcher said they are look­ing at more fundrais­ing en­deav­ours. For more in­for­ma­tion or how to sup­port the Rock­y­ford Curl­ing Club, con­tact Melcher at 403-533-2240.

He hopes that the loss of the sea­son doesn’t mean a loss of teams.

“Once it shuts down for two years, no one is com­ing back,” he said.


Curl­ing in Rock­y­ford was can­celled this win­ter be­cause of the de­te­ri­o­rat­ing floor in the club’s rink. The club is look­ing at a price tag of over $300,000 to have it re­paired.

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