Chubbuck skating rink up and running after one more obstacle

Feb 4th, 2016 | By | Category: Pack your bags
Doug Lindley/Idaho State Journal Greg Johnston races his daughter Ella on the ice at the Capell Park rink recently. Greg Johnston races his daughter Ella on the ice at the Capell Park rink recently.

Doug Lindley/Idaho State Journal
Greg Johnston races his daughter Ella on the ice at the Capell Park rink recently. Greg Johnston races his daughter Ella on the ice at the Capell Park rink recently.

By Debbie Bryce
For the Journal

CHUBBUCK — Jim DiSanza, president of Chubbuck Pocatello Hockey Association, said it’s been a long time in the works, but since it opened last month, attendance at the new, refrigerated ice rink at Capell Park indicates it was worth the wait.

For the past three years, DiSanza and members of the CPHA won grants and donations to pay for the used system and then to get it up and running. Fate seemed to be on their side when Joe Muir moved to the Gate City and went to work at ON Semiconductor.

Muir helped to rebuild the ice rink at Denver University in Denver, and he told the association that he could wire their refrigeration system.

Then last month, shortly after the rink opened, DiSanza said the compressors operating the system were struck by lightning, knocking one of them out.

Fortunately, DiSanza said the ice was already built and the colder temperatures have kept the refrigeration system running on just one compressor.

“We do need some service though,” DiSanza said.

An online fundraising site was set up to help fund repairs on the other compressor and to maintain the system. Donations for the ice rink can be made at www.gofundme.com/chubbuckicerink. Contributions can also be made at www.chubbuckhockey.com.

Fees from skate rentals during community skate nights also help fund maintenance of the ice.

DiSanza said the ice rink is groomed daily, and coin-operated lights are at the site.

“If you have your own skates, you can come and skate any time that the park is open,” DiSanza said.

The rink is opened for public skating on Thursday and Saturday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. and Pick Up Ice Hockey is set for Friday at 7:30 p.m.

During the community skate nights, skaters can rent skates for $5, which includes admission onto the ice, or pay $3 if you have your own skates.

There’s also a warming hut to change into your skates.

Last Saturday about 25 people were still on the ice at 7 p.m., and DiSanza said about 50 people came out to skate during the season opener.

“This weekend, I think the snow maybe scared people away,” DiSanza said. “But we’ve had good attendance and the ice is perfect.”

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