Repairs will smooth out Kent’s ShoWare Center ice

Smoother ice will soon return to the ShoWare Center.

Repairs will smooth out Kent’s ShoWare Center ice

Smoother ice will soon return to the ShoWare Center.

The Kent City Council on Tuesday night approved a $78,000 contract with Kent-based Hermanson for an emergency replacement of the hot water tank that fills the tanks on the Zamboni machine to resurface the ice.

“It takes out impurities and oxygen in the water and allows a much cleaner sheet of ice to be laid on,” said Ben Wolters, city economic and community development director, in a request to the council for the repairs. “We can’t do that now because we use lukewarm water and the ice is a little cloudy and a little rougher. For aesthetics and skater safety, this needs to happen. We need to move forward as quickly as possible.”

The city-owned ShoWare Center opened in 2009 and parts of the facility are starting to wear out, Wolters said. The warranty had expired on the current hot water tank that serves the Zamboni.

“Technology has improved,” Wolters said about the new tanks. “It will be a more efficient and effective system. It provides and treats water for the Zamboni, the vehicle that puts on a new layer of ice between periods of hockey and other ice shows.”

The Seattle Thunderbirds are the anchor tenant of the arena. The T-Birds are a junior team that plays in the Western Hockey League. Their season runs from fall through spring. Disney on Ice makes regular visits to the arena and will return Nov. 2-7.

Mayor Suzette Cooke pointed out to Wolters that the replacement of the hot water tank also will allow ads placed on the ice to be seen easier.

“Yes, advertisers prefer ads on the ice to be fully visible as opposed to behind a cloudy surface,” Wolters said.

Hermanson will remove the existing hot water tank from the arena’s mechanical room and replace it with two tanks, each with a 15-year manufacturer’s warranty. Crews also will install a 200-gallon storage tank with a 25-year warranty.

“In the event one unit fails, you still have minor non-peak redundancy,” according to Hermanson’s contract proposal about the reasons for two tanks. “The additional storage tank and crossover plumbing allows for system redundancy in the event the primary (non-Zamboni) water heater fails.”

The city has a $300,000 a year fund for capital and maintenance for the ShoWare. SMG, which manages the arena, also provided the city with a $500,000 loan to help cover maintenance costs.

Other recent projects at the ShoWare include the installation of new LED sports lights for $148,000 (with a $40,000 rebate from Puget Sound Energy); $56,000 for new digital menu boards at concession stands; an estimated $175,000 for new carpet in the club lounge and offices; $20,000 to polish the concourse floors; $32,000 for LED parking lot lights; and $60,000 for new trash cans.

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