Hibbing Curling Club
The first thing one notices walking into the Hibbing Curling Club is the larger viewing windows and absence of some support columns. Looking beyond and through them, one sees the eight sheets of ice ready for action. The blues and reds of each sheet’s house is a bit brighter, and the business names and logos of the on-ice ads are a bit crisper.
But the real difference is below.
The club recently completed a major mechanical upgrade to the rink area with a new dehumidification system and a new state-of-the art refrigeration system and floor. The improvements replaced the outdated 1930s infrastructure.
The floor slab is specialized, extremely flat and minimize the amount of ice thickness reducing the amount of water needed. A flat, more uniform surface, makes for greater energy efficiencies. The new system will also provide better temperatures on the ice, which helps control the playing surfaces better.
The bonus is the number of energy efficiencies built in. The newer dehumidification system located on the ceiling is also specialized. It works in cold temperatures, which eliminates frost from forming on the ice surfaces and allows for improved ice conditions for play. The ultimate result is the ice surface itself stepping up to present standards and state-of-the-art games.
“The project went very well,” said Mark Wirtanen, ARI Architect and club member. “All of the equipment thus far tested out better than the specifications. They are at the high end of things. Overall, it couldn’t have gone any better.”
The project was made possible by partnering with the Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board (IRRRB) and the City of Hibbing.