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Ice Arenas Prepare for Expensive Environmental Upgrades


ST. CLOUD — A change in federal environmental laws will phase out the use of the refrigerant many hockey arenas currently use to make ice. Imports of the R-22 refrigerant will be halted in 2020, meaning many ice arenas are starting to plan now for what is expected to be expensive renovations to their rinks.

St. Cloud State University Physical Plant Manager Ron VanHeuveln says their consultant has told them they should make plans to replace both ice rink floors at the Herb Brooks national Hockey Center in the next 5-10 years.

VanHeuveln says he doesn’t have an estimate, but if the floors need to be torn up, it could run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Jon Erickson is the Arena Manager at Bernick’s Arena in Sartell. He says they are working with their refrigeration company to plan for the conversion. Erickson says they plan to put money aside in the coming years to help pay for what is expected to be a $50,000-$75,000 upgrade.

Todd Bissett is the Rinks Manager at St. Cloud’s Municipal Athletic Complex. He says one of their two rinks will also need the renovations probably in 2016.

Both Erickson and Bissett hope to secure state grants or bonding money to help pay for the upgrades.



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