Still partway through a series of hourly air quality tests Wednesday afternoon, Adam MacLennan, assistant manager of the Tyne Valley Community Sports Centre was holding out hope the facility would be reopening by Thursday.
Acting on a recommendation from Environmental Health, the board of directors voluntarily closed the facility Monday morning in an effort to learn why results from air quality tests taken on Dec. 14 were elevated in comparison to tests taken prior to the facility reopening on Nov. 22.
For 10 minutes every hour for eight hours on Wednesday, Dec. 18, the Zamboni was going over the ice surface, simulating a regular busy day of ice rentals, just without the public in the building. Tests were being taken after each run.
“If test results are good, we will be doing everything in our power to open up the building tomorrow (Thursday),” MacLennan said.
The facility needs the rentals, he admits.
“Safety, obviously, is number one, but things are getting pretty stressful, financially.”
MacLennan said the facility’s own air quality meters are suggesting the air is safe.
He said there has not been a stop-work order issued, and workers have been in the facility throughout the shutdown.
“The frustration is, how can we be in here working and the public can’t use the facility?”
They are biding their time cleaning and fussing with the ice, scraping down high spots and levelling low spots, said MacLennan.
“We’ll see what the results say in the air quality tests, but nothing is alarming right now.”
During a shutdown last month, modifications were made to the furnace, thinking it might have been what caused several patrons to seek medical tests. At that time, the facility had failed an air quality test. It reopened following remedial action and a successful air quality test result.
During this week’s shutdown, the furnace, plant and ventilation system were all examined again and no issues were identified.
Although it hadn’t been recommended, MacLennan said the rink board has decided to install an air purifier on the Zamboni.
“It’s less of a cost than tearing the building open to put more ventilation into it," he said.
“Out of the dollars we have left, we are trying to make sure we cover our bases at the same time, but time is getting close. I guess time is running down.”
He confirmed the board has already applied to the provincial government for assistance with covering recent losses and he is not ruling out the possibility of special fundraising efforts once the building is up and running again.