SLAM, working with the Town of East Haven, CT, evaluated, designed, and built the best solution for the resurrection of the Patsy DiLungo Veteran’s Memorial ice rink. The Town Ice Rink has been host to the East Haven High School, East Haven Youth Hockey, Guilford High School, Shoreline Figure Skaters, ice skating lessons, ice hockey leagues, camps, birthday parties and events for decades. The facility has been closed since a leak was detected in the ice floor piping in 2019.
The project involved the renovation of the ice making systems, the ice rink, and locker rooms. Upon approval to commence with the design-build, SLAM developed a hybrid option to meet the Town’s budget. This involved renovating the ice facility for seasonal operation only, replacing the soon to be discontinued R404A refrigerant system in its entirety with improved indoor ventilation, new gas detection sensors and a new electrical switchboard to accommodate the new ice making equipment. Renovation scope included replacing the original outdated and leaking system with a new ammonia and glycol system which met future sustainability requirements, code and efficiency standards. The scope of the renovations included the replacement of the existing cold floor slab and associated piping, new dasher boards, CO, NO2 and ammonia leak detection systems, rubber flooring along the rink perimeter and a complete replacement of the dehumidification system. Required infrastructure upgrades included structural reinforcing, replacement of the building electrical switchgear, gas piping and ductwork.
The rink ceiling trusses were repainted, new ERV and dehumidification systems were installed and upgrades were made to the facility’s front of house area, bathrooms and locker rooms. The redesign and renovation of new public locker room spaces were also created to expand the Town’s ability to accommodate more teams and events.
The design-build team brought great value to the Town due to the ability to initially dissect the project into various options of phasing and cost during the design phases. Once the project scope was solidified and the construction was underway, the team worked collectively and creatively (beyond the contract) to overcome unpredictable supply chain issues and add scope the Town wanted to include in the final project.
“When we started this project, we evaluated a number of build options. But one that we always came back to was a concept called a design-build. Design-build project delivery is where the owner- that’s us — the Town of East Haven— manages only one contract with a single point of responsibility. The designer and contractor work together from the beginning, as a team, providing unified project recommendations that fit our schedule, and most importantly our budget. If there were changes this concept allowed them to be addressed quickly and by our entire team. It leads to collaborative problem-solving, not excuses or blame- shifting. We selected SLAM – they have completed ice rinks, and recreation facilities throughout the country –including the Dorothy Hamill Ice Skating Rink in Greenwich, and the breathtaking Martire Ice Arena at Sacred Heart University set to open in early January. The days of East Haven not doing things properly, and with the right partners is over, and SLAM is a prime example.”
– Joseph A. Carfora, Mayor, Town of East Haven Connecticut
SLAM was originally hired to perform a feasibility study of the Ice Rink Facility to evaluate the existing conditions and determine the cost of a variety of different options for repairs. The original team included SLAM as the architect, builder and structural engineer with CES for MEP
engineering and Ice consultant Wonderland of Ice. Once the project was awarded to the SLAM design-build team, the main subcontractors, ARC Mechanical (American Refrigeration Company), New England Mechanical Services and State-Wide Electric, were brought on to secure the long lead time refrigeration, mechanical and electrical components required for the new ice making system. This collaboration allowed for fast-tracking the engineering and design of the system for early procurement.
Through an initial design feasibility study for the repair of the facility, SLAM evaluated and developed a report for several alternatives for the replacement of the ice making equipment, the ice floor and supporting spaces. The SLAM team worked with the Town and several consultants to investigate life cycle analysis, sustainability, functionality, and the cost of several different systems.
The refrigeration subcontractor was engaged early in the design process to influence the design approach and mitigate the supply chain and delivery issues during the construction. Early input allowed for early release of ice making and electrical equipment long lead items.
The construction of the new ice floor was another feat in team collaboration, the concrete slab covering 17,000 square feet was a one day pour spanning over 12 hours of continuous labor. A custom designed large electric laser boom screed was utilized to direct the concrete over 55,860 linear feet (which equals 10.57 miles!) of glycol piping set in a bed of steel rebar over a supportive insulated slab base.