Notre Dame arena back in action


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This article was published 16/09/2019 (1292 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Community members can look forward to chilling out this winter at the Notre Dame Recreational Centre, which has a new ice plant that’s now up and running.

The local facility, located at 271 avenue de la Cathédrale, had been without ice for a year. The centre had previously put out a tender to replace its aging ice plant, but due to delays in the process, they opted to start up their old ice plant. Unfortunately, the chiller broke down, so the facility lost an entire season on the ice.

Local business Prairie HVAC/R offered them an environmentally sustainable system at an affordable price point and was awarded the tender.

Company president Albert Steinbach explained that Prairie HVAC/R provided Notre Dame Arena with a state-of-the-art system using a new environmentally sustainable HFO (hydrofluoroolefin) refrigerant.

“They’ve got the new HFO refrigerant, which is the first one in Manitoba and only the second one in Canada. The only other arena that’s using an HFO refrigerant is in Fernie, B.C.,” said Steinbach, who works alongside company vice-president Melissa Steinbach.

“This was all done locally. Everything is all done in-house. It’s engineered and manufactured here in our facility, which is nice because a lot of other systems are shipped in from either out of the country or out of the province. So it helps local trade and engineers and labourers.”

Prairie HVAC/R has designed a specialized Enviro Freeze chiller system to repurpose heat that is generated in mechanical rooms. Then that heat could be used to warm a dressing room, a spectator area or other parts of the building, which makes reduces utility bills and increases efficiency.

Another feature is the company’s Rink Link system, which allows for remote access to various system functions and set points. As a result, clients can remotely monitor and control ice conditions and much more.

Jeff Sitarz, sales and marketing manager, said that Prairie HVAC/R customizes its systems with their customers’ best interests in mind.

“We consider ourselves very cost effective and environmentally sustainable. We work in over 30 rural communities doing ice plant services. We know that budgets are important. There’s a lot of volunteer work involved and funds aren’t always readily available. We tend to provide more of what you need versus what we want,” he said.

“We focus on asset management from a mechanical perspective, like how much time you have left on a piece of equipment so that communities can plan out conversions or retrofits or replacements when the time is going to come. We don’t believe in putting any type of equipment in a junkyard before its time is up. We’re about environmentally sustainable solutions to help optimize energy needs.”

At the same time, the project promotes the concept of “local supporting local,” he added.

“Being locally owned and operated, our kids are skating on these rinks and these arenas,” Sitarz said. “It’s important to us to be assimilated into the communities in Manitoba and create collaborative partnerships where both sides win in the equation.”

To enquire about ice times or to book ice, email or phone the office at 204-233-5135. The centre’s website notes that all prime-time ice is already rented out.

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