Ice rink project takes shape

From left Staveley Hall Society member Carl Shannon, chairman Rob Withers and member Clare Harden.
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The project to refrigerate Staveley Ice Rink is on track but the Staveley Hall Society still need some help from the community.

Around a year ago the group started fundraising to reach the $1.2 million target and they have raised a whopping $882,000 so far.

With the goal to have the ice rink up and running this winter they need to raise around $300k more, so the society is organising other fundraising events including a car rally.

Staveley Hall Society member Clare Harden said ‘‘We’ve been hugely lucky with our community, there have been a lot of little donations that built us up to where we are.’’

The car rally is on January 28 starting at the rink and participants will be tasked with finding different things around Staveley, then finish at the hall for high tea and an auction. Society chairman Rob Withers said the rink was taking shape with contractors digging the hole ready for the next steps.

‘‘The rink has been squared up to 60 x 30 metres, the same size as an Olympic hockey rink, a concrete wall will run around the side of the rink.

‘‘Plastic sheets will be laid then 90mm of polystyrene to stop heat coming through, then mesh and reinforcing rod then 18 kilometres of pipe is laid down and finally 150mm of concrete.

‘‘We’re forming ice in reverse so it is built up from the bottom up, rather than the top down,’’ Rob said.

A 40ft container next to the lake will house the refrigeration unit which was sourced from Australia and is being stored in Ashburton.

Once the refrigeration is up and running the rink can stay open through the three months of winter.

‘‘The power bill over the three months is expected to be around $40k if it is running full time,’’ Clare said.

If it is cold enough to freeze they can turn the refrigeration off.

Clare said the rink is a popular destination for locals, and some go just for the atmosphere and yarns without going on the ice.

‘‘It is a real big mental health thing for the community, last year we had it open just after the flooding and everyone came.

‘‘A lot of the guys who come don’t skate they will just sit around the fire and roast marshmallows with the kids, chat and catch up.’’

‘‘It’s an affordable family activity, and that is one of the key values to keep it that way,’’ Clare said.

After the rink is up and running there are ongoing projects like refrigerating the separate curling rink, installing a new swing bridge and possibly putting in hydro for the power supply.

For more information or to donate contact Rob: 027 3030 138, or email [email protected]