Vernon’s Centennial Outdoor Rink to be closed for the season after it was determined a new chiller is required. (Photo submitted)

Vernon’s Centennial Outdoor Rink to be closed for the season after it was determined a new chiller is required. (Photo submitted)

Vernon outdoor rink closed for season

Centennial Outdoor Rink requires chiller replacement, closed for season

Outdoor skating at the Centennial Outdoor Rink will not be going ahead this year as the chiller needs to be replaced.

The City of Vernon conducted an inspection on the Priest Valley Arena refrigeration plan, which serves the Priest Valley Arena, Vernon Curling Club and the outdoor rink.

A refrigeration contractor determined the chiller, which serves the outdoor rink, needed further testing and recommended a non-destructive X-ray investigation.

That investigation showed the chiller was “in the severe stages of deterioration and the vessel appears to have reached the end of its useful life.”

It’s unlikely a replacement chiller could be installed by spring thus the season closure, the City of Vernon said in a statement.

“This is extremely disappointing news for our community,” Mayor Victor Cumming said.

“We know many of our residents and schools love to use this outdoor rink to spend time with family and friends, getting outside and staying active,” he said. “Being outside this year will be particularly important to maintain fewer faces in bigger spaces. However, it would be unsafe to continue using the chiller in its current state and we will not put anyone at risk.”

Recreation Services director Doug Ross reiterated safety comes first.

“We must follow the advice of the experts who have recommended not to operate the chiller,” Ross said. “Recreation Services is now identifying funding to help replace and upgrade the chiller.”

The tests conducted on the curling club and arena indicated there was no evidence of similar deterioration, although rec services are conducting further investigation to determine they are still in safe working condition, Ross said.

Public skate sessions will still be available at the Priest Valley Arena this season.

To comply with provincial health regulations and guidelines, all participants will need to pre-register through the city’s website or by calling Recreation Services at 250-545-6035.

Public skate times are currently in the planning stages and more information will be available soon.

“This has been a year that has required great resilience,” Cumming said. “We want to thank all of our residents, businesses, visitors and employees for your continued commitment to taking the steps necessary to keep yourselves and each other safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. We also want to thank you for your understanding as we’ve worked through many of these unexpected changes and interruptions to our regular routines and find ways to forge ahead in unprecedented circumstances.”

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@caitleerach
Caitlin.clow@vernonmorningstar.com

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