Getting a facelift
The Jamestown Sun Wilson Arena's much-needed renovation is going according to schedule, says rink manager Trevor Wilson. The $670,000 interior upgrade began in April and has continued all summer, including in recent days where temperatures have s...
The Jamestown Sun
Wilson Arena's much-needed renovation is going according to schedule, says rink manager Trevor Wilson.
The $670,000 interior upgrade began in April and has continued all summer, including in recent days where temperatures have soared into the triple digits, making the aluminum building feeling like a pressure cooker instead of a hockey rink.
"It's unbelievable. You walk in there and you start sweating right away," said Wilson. "You have to drink tons of water, but it's pretty miserable in there."
The project became increasingly necessary as the arena began to break down in recent years -- especially last season, when a problem with the refrigeration system forced one game to be moved to Valley City.
All of the systems being repaired are over 30 years old and in dire need of upgrades or repairs. Continual Band-aiding of the arena became problematic and no longer made sense economically.
"Everything in there is over 30 years old. It all needed to be replaced, there was no getting around it," Wilson said. "There were quite a few problems last year. This is something we really needed to take care of."
Arena Systems of St. Paul, Minn., and refrigeration engineer Daryl Cox are heading up the project. Cox is no stranger to the place, either, having worked on Wilson Arena 30 years ago and overseeing similar repairs to Eagles Arena in 1995. Cox brought three employees from St. Paul and hired an additional four workers from Jamestown.
Currently, they are laying the tubing for the new refrigeration system. Freon will run through the tubing, which was the main culprit in the rink's problem last winter.
The old beat-up boards and glass will also be replaced with brand new ones. Repairs are being made to the ceiling, and other cosmetic blemishes with the building's interior are being remedied as well. The project is expected to be completed in October and ready for the 2007-2008 season.
Come November, those heading to high school and youth hockey games at Wilson Arena can expect a sharper-looking building.
"It's something we really needed to do," Wilson said. "Once we get everything done, it's going to look pretty nice in there."