Crews pour 600 tons of concrete for new ice rink floor
Pouring the new concrete floor of the Brett Memorial Ice Arena in Wasilla was a massive undertaking.
On Wednesday, dozens of workers from MBC Construction spent more than six hours continuously pouring 600 tons.
"It’s such a challenge and there aren’t a whole lot of people who are crazy enough to bite off something this big,” said superintendent Ray Butler.
The 16,000+ square foot building isn’t the largest project he’s done, but it’s up there.
"I prefer 10,000 square feet or bigger. That makes me smile more,” Butler laughed.
Butler said it takes hours of preparation and planning to figure out how to get the machines in and determine where to start with a project this size.
The floor is part of a $3.7 million Mat-Su Borough renovation project, paid for by a $22 million recreation bond voters passed in 2016.
There are 10 miles of stainless steel pipes and a new cooling system that will reduce the borough’s carbon footprint.
"We’ve switched out from R22 refrigerant, which was environmentally unfriendly to a much more friendly CO2 system,” recreation and library manager Hugh Leslie explained. “It’s going to be more inexpensive for us to operate, safer for our employees and safer for the community.”
Laying the concrete was by far the biggest endeavor for the rink. It took 30 truck loads and dozens of workers to make sure everything went smoothly.
"It needs to be a continuous pour, it needs to be a very special mix that doesn’t shrink, doesn’t crack as much as other concrete would,” said Scott Ward, owner of Stevens Engineers.
Butler said all the work will pay off when the rink reopens in September.
"After you’re finished with it and it’s laying there like a piece of glass, everything is nice and flat, all your saw cuts are pretty and straight. It’s well worth it, it’s a gratifying feeling,” Butler said.
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