At the October EFCL Board meeting a consortium of organizations presented a concept for a Geo-Dome cover for skating rinks.
|GRES Geo-Dome Brochure,|
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The entry level covered rink with no add-ons such as an ice plant or geothermal cooling system would cost from $300-$400K.
A cover mean a rink is not only better for the skating season, but it would also be available for summer sports, farmer's markets, soccer parties and all sorts of other events.
Adding turf the covered rink further extends its potential use. Depending on the configuration it is possible to get as much as five months of ice.
They also presented a high end version of the rink that features an ice plant and a geothermal cooling system that can be used to keep the ice frozen and heat surrounding buildings at the same time. The deluxe version can cost 1 - 1.6 million dollars. However, if Edmonton were considering a civic policy designed to increase regional ice facilities, the geothermal system is 55% cheaper to operate than a conventional system with an ice plant. This could help bring new life to inefficient complexes and make the addition of more covered rinks a possibility.
The other thing these folks suggested was that projects can be staged in phases. A rink could be covered in phase one and later on a geothermal ice plant system could be added. In the geothermal version of the rink the heat harvested from beneath the ice is used to heat the stands, benches and nearby buildings such as halls or even a swimming pool. The presenters also talked about financing that may be available if it could be backed by hard assets.