Loudy-Simpson Ice Arena construction on schedule

With the start of the National Hockey League season, the tinge of coolness in the air and the winding down of hunting season, hockey players around Craig are starting to salivate over the opportunity to play hockey on consistent ice.

It looks like the opportunity will be here soon, according to Steve Grandbouche, Moffat County parks superintendent.

"We're gaining on it and if we can hold off this weather for a little bit we'll be in good shape," said Grandbouche.

The roof of the facility is partially installed with its completion expected by the end of the week depending on how many people can help with construction, according to Grandbouche.

All of the drywall in the interior is up and ready to paint and the concrete has been cut for the 6-foot expansion of the ice surface. The curb that supports the boards and contains the water and ice is expected to be installed by Friday.

Grandbouche contacted the representative from Burley's Rink Supply Inc., the company that will provide the cooling system for the floor, and he expects the floor system in by the end of next week. The compressor that will power the cooling system will be installed by Nov. 20.

Grandbouche wants to stress the fact that support from the community in these final stages is going to be important for keeping the project on schedule.

"We have had great volunteer support so far," said Grandbouche. "That type of support will be needed for the big push in the next 30 days. Any type of help will be appreciated."

Both Craig youth and adult hockey leagues have started meeting to prepare for the up-coming season at the renovated facility. Kent Nielson, a board member for Craig Youth Hockey Association, predicts the upgraded facility will improve the quality of the program.

"It is going to change the program immensely," said Nielson. "We have some good skaters now, but once we have consistent ice it is going to improve the quality of athletes and really help the association out."

The transition will be a learning process for both the players and the association, according to Nielson.

"This is the first year," said Nielson. "Kids that skated 20 times in a season in the past will be skating twice a week. I'm sure we're going to learn a lot."

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