Kent Events Center gets rink floor

The Kent Events Center reached a milestone Tuesday with the pouring of its concrete floor.

Down goes the floor The Kent Events Center reached a milestone Tuesday with the pouring of its concrete floor. The center is on target and on schedule to open in January. It will serve as the new home of the Seattle Thunderbirds. The T-Birds will move from their current home at KeyArena

Down goes the floor The Kent Events Center reached a milestone Tuesday with the pouring of its concrete floor. The center is on target and on schedule to open in January. It will serve as the new home of the Seattle Thunderbirds. The T-Birds will move from their current home at KeyArena

Construction of the Kent Events Center crossed another milestone Tuesday with the pouring of the concrete to form the ice-rink floor.

Forty-five workers were part of a nearly 15-hour project to pour the 5-inch thick concrete slab on a floor that is 85 feet wide and 200 feet long.

“It went perfect, without a hitch,” said Ben Golding, project manager for the events center for Mortenseon Construction, based in Minneapolis with an office in Bellevue. “We are very satisfied.”

The $84.5 million city events center is slated to open on Jan. 2, 2009. The 6,025-seat arena is under construction at West James Street and Fifth Avenue North.

The Seattle Thunderbirds minor league hockey team will be the anchor tenant of the facility. They plan to move next January to Kent from their current home at KeyArena in Seattle. The city of Kent has a 30-year lease with the Thunderbirds.

Workers started to pour concrete on the 17,000-square foot arena floor at 6 a.m. Tuesday. By 1 p.m., the estimated 270 cubic yards (40 truck loads) of concrete had been poured.

Crews then brought the concrete to the correct elevation and started to finish it to make the slab hard and flat.

“It’s the flattest slab poured in the building, so when we freeze the ice it has uniform thickness and is perfectly flat,” Golding said.

The first test of the ice sheet is expected to be in late October or early November, Golding said. All of the mechanical work in the facility must be done before the ice sheet is tested because the temperature of the building needs to be controlled to help keep the humidity down.

“But this is a slab with a large chiller,” Golding said. “We can make the floor very cold with a lot of pipe to move water. That gives us a better ability to control the temperature of the ice with no soft spots.”

The floor beneath the ice includes a plastic vapor barrier, 525 cubic yards of sand, 3 inches of styrofoam insulation and 5 inches of reinforced concrete containing the coolant pipe.

The concrete will continue to cure for the next few weeks. Once the concrete passes a final test, the scoreboard will be installed and workers will prepare to test the ice sheet.

“We’re working with the city to finalize the installation of the scoreboard,” Golding said.

The concrete floor sits under a layer of water as part of the curing process. Golding said it is easy to tell how smoothly the pour went because there are no puddles on the floor.

“It’s one big flat area of water,” he said.

In addition to nearly 40 Thunderbirds games per year, concerts, trade shows and other events are slated to be lined up for the 154,400-square foot arena.

Contact Steve Hunter at 253-872-6600, ext. 5052 or shunter@reporternewspapers.com.


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