Ice Rinks at Centennial Sportsplex Undergo a Major Overhaul
In the spring of 2013, Centennial Sportsplex began to have major mechanical problems with Rink A. During the repair process, critical issues were discovered in both the piping in the rink floor and the main chiller, which services both rinks. Cost of permanent repairs and the fact that the refrigerate been used (R-22) is being phased out by the Federal government led managers to the decision to get a completely new system for both rinks.
The old system is a “direct” system, meaning the refrigerant goes directly into the rink floors to cool them. It takes a large amount of R-22. Modern systems are “indirect,” meaning the refrigerant cools a secondary liquid, which is then circulated through the rink floors in order to cool them. Glycol and brine are the two most common liquids used. With the impending phase out of R-22, both rinks would have needed to be replaced in the near future regardless of their condition. Due to the lead time for a project of this size, the Sportsplex needed something to get through the 2013-14 season. They contracted with Ice Rink Events to set up temporary ice, similar to the NHL Winter Classic and other outdoor games. This system was installed in July and August, which meant the rinks were operational the season started in the fall.
Now that the season is coming to an end, the temporary is being removed and replaced with a permanent system. The start dates are March 17th for Rink A and April 14th for Rink B. The project includes new dasher boards and glass for Rink B. Once the temporary equipment is out, the dasher boards and the rink slabs will be removed. The old chiller will be dismantled and removed to make room for the new one. The new system will use ammonia as the primary refrigerant and a brine solution as the secondary liquid that actually cools the rink floors. The ammonia will be contained in the mechanical room and will not pose any risk to patrons. In the rare event of a leak, special ventilation will be in place to dissipate the ammonia outside well above ground level. The ammonia then becomes harmless as it is absorbed into the atmosphere. This also poses no environmental issues.
Both rinks are scheduled to be reopen by the end of August, possibly even earlier. The officials at the Sportsplex will be able to provide more accurate reopening dates as they move forward with the project. Updates will be made regularly on the official Centennial Sportsplex Facebook page and on the website. For more information, please connect the Rink Manager at Frank.Wright@nashville.gov.