City plans to decommission outdoor skating rink in downtown Windsor

The Charles Clark Square ice rink needs $1 million in “immediate” repairs or it won’t reopen this winter, according to a report expected to be presented to City Council on Monday.

“We’re having trouble making it work,” Jennifer Knights, executive director of parks and culture, told CTV News on Tuesday.

Last spring, the city spent $15,000 to fix five leaks discovered during the winter months and believes there are still more to fix.

“Additional leaks are still evident as ground pressure testing over a week-long period resulted in a pressure drop of 40 pounds to six pounds,” the report said.

“In order to efficiently carry out all repairs to the point where we don’t have to keep doing them year after year, this would mean replacing the perimeter pipe around the current Charles Clark Square as well as the existing pad,” Knights said. said.

Staff estimate it would cost $1 million to repair the surface of the rink to allow it to reopen for the 2022-23 season.

The report includes a second option – decommissioning the Charles Clark Square ice rink and building a new one.

Trustees are recommending the city spend $300,000 on a consultant to design an all-new outdoor skating rink as part of the City Hall Plaza and Civic Plaza project.

“You’ll see communities that will have a dual purpose,” Knights said. “In winter it’s an ice rink and in summer it can be a water feature, fountain, water feature or reflecting pool.”

Knights believes the rink would be moved across University Avenue and placed on the lawn in front of City Hall. But she said it would be a decision for the consultant and the committee working on the plaza project.

“I think we have a lot of opportunities to be creative and look at making it a year-round or four-season amenity on the plaza,” Knights said.

The Windsor Recreation Master Plan recommends maintaining two outdoor rinks, at Charles Clark and Lanspeary Park. If the council goes ahead with the downgrading of Charles Clark, the city intends to increase programming options at Lanspeary in the interim.

With two outdoor rinks, Windsor has a “level of service” of one outdoor rink per 110,000 residents. The provincial average is one outdoor rink for every 75,147 residents.

Knights said the city’s climate makes it difficult to sustain freezing cold even in the coldest winter months.

The city created Charles Clark Square, which opened in October 1996, but in recent years the surface of the ice rink has required many investments:

  • 2010 – $150,000 to install perimeter panels
  • 2012 – $90,000 in chiller repairs and viewing room upgrades
  • 2013 – $56,000 spent on synthetic ice that didn’t work
  • 2014 – $53,000 in toilet, plumbing and refrigeration repairs
  • 2022 – $15,000 to repair five leaks

The board will discuss this idea at Monday’s meeting starting at 4 p.m.

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