The Cowichan Community Centre hopes to replace the chiller in its arena next summer. (File photo)

Chiller replacement at Cowichan Community Centre to be considered

Postponed partly due to deaths in Fernie

The delayed replacement of the arena chiller at the Cowichan Community Centre, at a cost of approximately $415,000, could take place next summer.

Jim Wakeham, the Cowichan Valley Regional District’s manager of facilities and transit, said in a report to the CVRD that the chiller, and accompanying components, was originally planned to be replaced this year.

However, due to a number of factors, including that new safety requirements for chillers have been put in place since the incident in Fernie, B.C. in 2017 in which three people died in a chiller-related incident, the replacement was postponed until the summer of 2020.

Two city workers and one contractor were killed after an ammonia leak from the chiller at the Fernie Memorial Arena.

RELATED STORY: AGING COOLING SYSTEM BEHIND B.C. FATAL AMMONIA LEAK NEEDED REPLACING IN 2010: REPORT

Since then, the industry has been challenged with multiple new safety requirements, imposed by Technical Safety BC and WorkSafe BC, that must be met.

“A number of procedural and some equipment changes have been completed and continue to be modified at all three CVRD arenas to keep up with the new requirements,” Wakeham said.

“There is now a huge amount of work required at various arenas throughout B.C., a limited number of qualified contractors to replace chillers and components, and the work must be completed within a very specific window of time (summer), when the ice plant is not operating.”

Wakeham said another reason for the delay in the replacement of the chiller is that since this project was submitted in January, 2019, as an application to the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Grant program for significant grant funding, the CCC wanted to wait until it heard back from the grant program if the application was successful or not before the work could be started.

He said the CCC applied for $245,655 in funding towards the project and the expectation is that the CCC will hear back from the grant program by mid October, the same time it will be reviewing the bid submissions for the installation work.

RELATED STORY: NORTH COWICHAN TO PAY $435,000 FOR UPGRADES AT FULLER LAKE ARENA

“If we are successful in receiving grant funds and/or the bid submission amounts are different than our estimate, we will be able to revise the 2020 budget to account for the changes,” Wakeham said.

“Staff are working with a very experienced refrigeration consultant and are in the process of completing the chiller replacement bid package, which we are planning to have out for bid by Sept. 20.”

Wakeham said that in the past few years, the maintenance costs of the existing chiller and accompanying components have been increasing due to the age of the equipment and work required.

“After the ice plant was shut down in the spring of 2019, the chiller had a sizable internal cleaning and refurbishment done by Cimco Refrigeration, and a subsequent detailed inspection by Technical Safety BC and WorkSafe BC,” he said.

“The chiller passed the inspection and the recent ice plant start up for the 2019/20 winter season went smooth and the equipment is operating very well. However, the chiller is near the end of its serviceable life and needs to be replaced.”

The report is expected to be presented at a meeting of the CVRD’s Special Cowichan Community Centre Commission on Sept. 9.



robert.barron@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Business notes: Duncan’s Sands Funeral Chapel in the pink for Pink Shirt Day

Staff at Sands Funeral Chapel are wearing pink to demonstrate how important the anti-bullying day is

‘Marvelous Wonderettes’ sets high bar for Chemainus Theatre season

The script is perfect for Chemainus’s small stage

Thieves steal 6-foot gas pump from Duncan yard

Theft took place overnight on Feb. 6 or into the early morning hours of Feb. 7.

Cowichan school briefs: Koala fundraiser, gravity cars, trades grants, and academic award

There’s been a lot of activity within the Cowichan Valley School District schools

Cowichan Typhoons top Fernandes tourney

Cowichan’s own Typhoons finished atop the standings at the annual Malcolm Fernandes… Continue reading

Pipeline dispute: Tories put no-confidence motion on House of Commons agenda

Conservatives say they have no confidence in the Trudeau government to end the rail blockades

Galchenyuk nets shootout winner as Wild edge Canucks 4-3

Vancouver tied with Calgary for second spot in NHL’s Pacific Division

Original Victoria Clipper vessel sails one last time

Vessel sold to buyers in Gabon, Central Africa

B.C.’s soda drink tax will help kids lose weight, improve health, says doctor

Dr. Tom Warshawski says studies show sugary drinks contribute to obesity

A&W employees in Ladysmith get all-inclusive vacation for 10 years of service

Kelly Frenchy, Katherine Aleck, and Muriel Jack are headed on all-expenses-paid vacations

B.C. mom’s complaint about ‘R word’ in children’s ministry email sparks review

In 2020, the ‘R’ word shouldn’t be used, Sue Robins says

Two new hybrid BC Ferries ships christened with new names in Victoria ceremony

Island Aurora and Island Discovery will service Gulf Island and North Island routes

B.C., federal ministers plead for meeting Wet’suwet’en dissidents

Scott Fraser, Carolyn Bennett says they can be in Smithers Thursday

Province shows no interest in proposed highway between Alberta and B.C.

Province says it will instead focus on expanding the Kicking Horse Canyon to four lanes

Most Read