SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — We’ve heard the expression, “It’s like watching paint dry.” But in the case of the Jordan Valley Ice Park, they are spending the next few days watching ice freeze. Last month, when trying to renovate the system that keeps the floor cold and the ice frozen, Superintendent of Jordan Valley Park Jeff Cumley says something went wrong.
“The portable unit, unfortunately, had a failure, and went down,” Cumley said. “It took about 17-18 hours to get that backup and running, and in that amount of time we lost both sheets of ice.”
Under that ice is a concrete floor. Once it was cleaned, dried, and refrozen, the real work began.
“Once the concrete is frozen to about 12, 14 degrees — 15 area, it’s cold enough to create ice. We come out and do what we call a mist retreat. It’s a very fine mist of water. That’s what has to bond tightly with that concrete. That’s what is the strength of the entire sheet of ice. Then we build up in layers.”
The ice park staff began rebuilding the ice rink on Monday, Sept. 9.
Cumley says that process takes about 10 days.
“We’re talking literally thousands of gallons of water that we had to effectively manage when we’re taking a sheet out unexpectedly,” Cumley said.
The process is about halfway through right now, and they’ve already been able to repaint.
This icy delayed many of their programs, and perhaps the biggest toll was on the Missouri State Ice Bears, who are missing valuable ice time with their season set to start October 4th. Ice Bears GM Ryan Armstrong says they have been finding ways to prepare off the ice with plenty of cardio and film study, but they’ll be ready to make up for the lost time.
“With so many college players having different school schedules, it doesn’t bother us one bit to practice late at night or early in the morning, so we’re going to definitely take advantage of those times,” Armstrong said. “As soon as they get back on, they’re going 100%.”