Curling Begins in Frontier!
The Frontier Curling Club is a “rocking” place to be in town with curling four nights a week for their mixed league! Occasionally they host additional events such as doubles on the weekends and are currently running two bonspiels a year followed by a skins night.
All wrapped up by the towns annual open bonspiel which concludes the year in the beginning of March! But unfortunately some major renovations needed to take place in the Fall for this all to happen in the coming 2019-2020 season. Let’s take a look at their story from club member Jay Peterson!
“So to start I’ll try to explain what exactly was wrong with our rink structure. Essentially moisture had leached in along the edge of the building on the north side. The building runs east and west. Some moisture came through on the south side but the damage was quite a bit less on that side. The moisture had created rot that had degraded the sill plate at the bottom where our rafters were sitting on top of the cement. The rafters were also connected to the sill plate with angle brackets that were nailed from the rafter to the sill. Also in some places the plywood structure to the outside were rotted out. We also had three corners where there were some issues that needed to be fixed. As well the old insulation and vapor barrier were no good anymore. We also decided to replace the bottom sheets of plywood on the inside with tin, and put a new wood bumper down. All in all we actually were able to expand our playing surface by a couple inches on the width with the new tin and wood bumper.
So here is what we did to fix it. First we took the bottom four feet of plywood off, the old wood bumper and removed all the old insulation and vapor barrier. Next we had to remove all the old and rotting sill plate from the bottom where it was connected to the rafters. This was done essentially with a saws-all and a crow bar. We had to remove the entire north side. The south side was unaffected in the middle so the sill plate on that side was only removed on the ends. During the entire process we were constantly cleaning and taking out the old material. Once we had removed any material that was no good anymore it was time to rebuild. The first thing we did was get custom angle iron brackets made for each rafter. They are nine inches tall three inches out from the bend and a quarter inch thick I think if I remember right with some holes drilled in them. Luckily we have a couple engineers in the club that were able to design these for us. The work was then able to be done at Honey Bee Manufacturing just south of Frontier. We were also able to secure the majority our lumber and fasteners from Pioneer CO-OP. So to rebuild for each rafter we anchored an angle bracket to the existing cement on one side. On the other side of the rafter we connected a piece of 2×4 lumber. The minimum length of the 2×4 was two feet and some were up to 3.5 feet because we wanted to beef the structure up a bit. The 2×4 pieces were connected with deck screws and structural screws. We then drilled holes through the 2×4 and the rafter so we could bolt the 2×4, rafter, and anchored bracket together. We also added some cross bracing and made plywood boxes that we used to seal the building to the outside where the old plywood to the outside was no good anymore.
On the south side were the sill plate was still good we anchored through the sill plate and into the cement so the angled bracket is on top of the plate. We also cleaned up and reinsulated the corners where we had some issues. The bottom was then reinsulated and put up a new vapor barrier. The tin was then put up and the inner wall was structured to have the length of the sheets run as straight as possible without having the discrepancies in the structure have the tin wave in and out. We then cleaned and cleaned and cleaned and started to make ice. In total I think it took us about 4.5 weeks to accomplish this. A week and a half of planning once we got the engineering report. 2 weeks of construction and 5 days to make the ice.
I’m sure you are wondering where we came up with this plan. Our hockey rink was also having a renovation as well. In conjunction with them we had an engineering report done by Castle Engineering, which was done by Carolyn and Erroll. They were very patient in answering all my questions and helping make sure we had the structure just right. The structural renovation was what was requested and approved in their report. Another fortunate situation our curling club has some very skilled individuals in it. Clay Thoring was able to being a driving factor behind the planning and executing of the rafter work. Brady Samoleski was able to use his skills to plan and execute the tin work. There were many other club members who were able to sacrifice time and energy to help make this plan a reality from the visualizing the engineering, to the hard work of tearing out sill plate, drilling holes and impacting it all back together. I would also be remiss if I didn’t mention Clay’s Grandpa Clifford Thoring who helped us put brackets together, clean up and keep things moving. He also was around to go and pick up the rafters when they were made in the 70’s as a young man.
As an aside another thing that our club has renovated in the last couple years is we moved to Hack to Hack sheet liners. I’ve had many conversations with the founder Kevin Grumetza on how to make the ice better in conjunction with our current renovations to try to create an overall better player experience. Not only that we are able to run thinner ice with the sheet liners, at a higher temperature costing us less money a year in costs. A big thanks to a group of ladies in Collette Anderson, Tanya Turner & Shantel Hill for their assistance in cleaning all the rocks and backboards once the project was concluded!
I guess that sort of answers the resources we used. Erroll and Carolyn supplied the technical engineering information and I used Kevin as a resource for the ice making side of things. The only other major resource I used was the resourcefulness and skills that the members of our curling club have.
I feel very lucky to say that we didn’t have to use any grant resources to accomplish this project for many years now the Frontier Curling Club has been profitable year after year. The financial strength has come from a few places. First we have our two bonspiels a year which create a profit through our Calcutta, dance, etc. Secondly we have ran a few special events throughout the year or in partnership with the local hockey team. Thirdly we have in rink advertisement signs for which we charge a yearly fee. I don’t have the final number yet but the renovation this year was going to run us somewhere between $6500 and $9000 dollars. We only had to pay for resources The hack to hack sheets we purchased three years ago cost us $5000 a sheet I think for $10,000 total. This is totally within our financial reach and we still have a small fund left. That being said I did apply for some grants which we didn’t receive. I also know that the local economic development committee applied for grants that would apply to the whole facility which I don’t believe we received either.
So when I first contacted Dan I had no idea the scope of our project. All I knew at the time was that we were told we weren’t going to have a rink that was able to be insured or a curling season at all. The talk at the first meeting I attended was that we were going to have to rebuild the facility from the ground up and that was going to cost roughly $180,000 to start. Of course this all changed when we received the Castle engineering report that there was a solution that we could renovate ourselves. Anyway my first thought was to contact CURLSASK to see if they knew anyone else who had went through this process or any curling related specific grants etc. I’ve called CURLSASK many times in the past for different reasons whether as a club president, coach or participant and the office has also been able to help me solve my issue or give me an answer so it seemed natural with such a predicament to call the office to see what was available.
The first thing Dan did was get me a list of grants that were curling rink specific, companies that often were willing to donate money to curling projects and financial institutes that had given 0 interest loans or low loan rates to projects like this. This did include the Curling Canada loan program. All of these things which I would have looked into the more serious the nature of the project. Like I said we were very lucky that the severity went down as time went on. Dan also sent out more information on grants as he saw them that he thought might be applicable. There also seemed to be contact information connected with those grants to help me be able to make my application more suitable for selection. I feel Dan was also willing to put me in contact with anyone he felt would be beneficial to me resolving the situation. He was also very positive about the situation and made me feel like the CURLSASK community was behind our club and we would get our situation resolved. He either checked in multiple times or replied positively to all my correspondence very quickly. It was a helpful motivator in the process and if things had been more difficult I knew I could contact Dan and he would do what he could to keep us on track to save our season. The only thing I can think of is to thank all the awesome members of our club who stepped up and sacrificed to get the rink apart and back together in a timely member. It wasn’t always the easiest and we persevered to push through and get done. I’ll try to think of anything else I have to say. Also thank you to you and Dan for the interest and support you’ve shown through CURLSASK for what we accomplished. It makes it that much easier when you feel the support of the curling community.