Here at the Ice Sports Forum we take pride in our patrons which means we take pride in our facility. There are a lot of you that have been with us for years and have witnessed the Ice Sports Forum evolve into the skating destination it is today. However, even ye loyal fans may not know everything the ISF has been doing behind the scenes in recent years to make your experience here a safer, more comfortable, and enjoyable.
Everyone who has been to the Forum this month has seen and thoroughly appreciated the new carpet. But did you know that this was merely the capstone of a three-year long project? There have been a sequential number of items that we addressed in-order to make the carpet install a practicality. Allow me to explain…
The first item we needed to replace was our dehumidifying units or DHUs. These big, expensive machines suck the moisture out of the air while pumping in clean, dry air. If we didn’t have properly operating DHUs the benches, tables and chairs, ice, and pretty much everything in the building would be coated in moisture which can lead to safety concerns, including mold. New DHUs go a long way towards keeping us safe and dry as well as more energy efficient. Also, with our new DHU’s, we installed the “Duct-Sock” system you now see running over both rinks. The duct socks disperse the clean, dry air rink-wide so it doesn’t prematurely flow into the return vents, leading to better air and energy efficiency.
Speaking of energy efficiency, phase two of our project was re-coating and sealing the roof. Our roof over the years, like every roof does, deteriorated and started allowing rain in. That is not good when you live in Florida. So, we resealed the roof to stop any kind of moisture penetration and re-coated it with a highly reflective paint. The paint bounces the sun’s rays back at it to help keep the building from heating up too much which in turn makes less work for our numerous systems including the one that keeps the ice cold. I’m sure those of you traveling on I-75 have noticed just how white our new roof truly is!
Also adding to the energy efficiency upgrades is our T5 High Output fluorescent lighting throughout the building. Not only does the lighting shine brighter for a better viewing experience, it runs much cooler than the old lighting as well as reaches its brightness much faster using less energy.
Another item not related to the carpet, but that was installed was our floor heating unit. You would think this is counterproductive to having two ice sheets, but on the contrary it is absolutely necessary to keep us up and running. Without this check, the ice can create permafrost, like what is found in the tundra, under our concrete floors. The permafrost builds up and up and eventually starts pushing the concrete out of sorts, destroying the facility floor. Ice that’s too cold, who’d have thought?
All that behind the scenes work brings us to our carpet install which has brought some color to the ISF. We hope everyone enjoys it for years to come. We have also made some other updates or upgrades that you may have noticed as well. This past Fall we rebuilt our Birthday Room upstairs which creates a more functional space. In the last two years, we’ve replaced tables in the bar, upgraded our laser tag vests, system, and arena, and we just recently last month got new skates for our rentals. For all you keeping score out there, don’t forget the new scoreboards that went in over the summer!
We hope to never to have to use it, but for your safety we added an AED machine or defibrillator. In addition to that we hosted a CPR class for our staff, many of who are now certified.
And finally, our most visual change, was our website that we built and rolled out in July. We have gone through some growing pains, but we feel as though any information you are looking for (including an article about facility updates) can be found. We are always growing so any suggestions you may have are welcome.
As we wrap this up, please note the purpose of this article was not to boast about how great our facility is, but to remind our patrons and inform future ISF family members that we are committed to creating a better experience for you at the Ice Sports Forum. And although you may not always see it, we always have a project in the works to improve the facility because we know without you, it wouldn’t be possible. Thank you.
To stay up-to-date with all Ice Sports Forum happenings, visit our website at www.icesportsforum.com and continue to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.