All-season rink gets foundation

·2 min read

THUNDER BAY, ONT. — A team effort between Michieli Custom Concrete and A1 Concrete Inc. has resulted in the installation of the Dease Park boarded rink foundation.

More than 100 cubic metres of concrete — equivalent to 13 truckloads — was supplied by A1 Concrete Inc. for the project, amid a provincial portland concrete shortage.

“There are issues getting cement for sure,” said Dean Michieli, an owner of Michieli Custom Concrete.

“But being (A1’s) number one customer, they helped us out. We had the demand and they pulled through.”

Marco Vallelunga, owner of A1 Concrete Inc., says together they poured a six-inch deep foundation that measured 60 feet by 120 feet.

“Our company was happy to work with the City of Thunder Bay and Michieli Custom Concrete on this project,” said Vallelunga. “We’re pleased to see the city investing in the community, and especially in that neighbourhood.”

Michieli’s crew spent July 12 putting in some extra finishing touches because the all-season rink will be used in both the summer and winter.

“It’s cool to be doing something for the city in this area that everybody seems happy with,” he said, adding that people in the neighbourhood frequently stopped to chat with the crew as they worked.

The installation of the permanent boarded rink is the first stage of the Dease Park reconstruction. It began with the removal of the existing basketball courts and other park infrastructure to work on a clean slate.

“Permanent boards will be erected around the rink and then the basketball courts will be integrated onto that sideways,” said Cory Halvorsen, manager of parks and open spaces with the city.

“It can be used for any kind of programming and used all year round, not just for winter ice but for summer football, hockey or whatever, and it’s actual concrete, instead of asphalt.”

Halvorsen says the nice thing about it being a concrete surface is there are many options for use including roller sports or just passive use for ball hockey.

The second phase of development for the park includes the rerouting of the walkways, an expansion of the existing playground and the installation of more lighting.

“The third and final stage is at the (former) pool site,” Halvorsen said. “We’ve been working in conjunction with community services on the planning and we sought some public consultation,” he said. “The latest thing that council authorized was to finalize a design on a skate park or skateboard roller sports facility.”

Sandi Krasowski, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Chronicle-Journal

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