Council members say snow, other moisture leaks into CSC, especially when the wind blows

    Those who determine what's included on the Protecting the Legacy fund's "wish list" for amenities and equipment for Crookston Sports Center previously included dehumidification equipment, which gives city officials hope that their planned request for the approximately $100,000 needed to bring dehumidification to the Blue Arena will be granted.   

    "It's an important thing to protect that building as the asset it is," City Administrator Shannon Stassen told members of the Crookston City Council at a Ways & Means Committee meeting this week. "You don't want the mechanical equipment and the structure itself exposed to excess humidity because it can be especially damaging over time."   

    The Blue Arena is being targeted because that's the rink that typically includes ice for the longest period of time once the Parks & Recreation official hockey and figure skating season ends at the end of March. The Crookston Blue Line Club hosts off-season activities and many hockey tournaments deep into June in the Blue Arena.   

    The Park Board recommended the request from the Protecting the Legacy fund for the dehumidification equipment. Now that the committee has endorsed the request, the council will next consider the matter.   

    Park Board Chair Larry Brekken attended the committee meeting to make sure that the dehumidification system would not adversely affect the CSC's warranty status. It still has not been officially "certified" so to speak, by the state, specific to the "B-3" requirements that come into play when state funding is involved with a facility and, therefore, enhanced energy efficiency standards must be met.   

    "If you alter anything with the engineering of that building, you might let someone off the hook and then the city would be liable," Brekken told the council.    

    Parks & Recreation Director/CSC Manager Scott Riopelle said that shouldn't be a problem because the dehumidification system – consisting of two dehumidifiers, costing around $65,000, which would be installed by Proulx Refrigeration for approximately $31,600 – would be completely separate from the CSC's current mechanical system. "This is completely different and won't touch the current system, so it wouldn't affect the warranty," Riopelle said.   

    Previous research into a dehumidification system that would tie into the CSC's current air-handling system found that it would cost around $200,000, he added.   

    Brekken suggested the city get assurances from the CSC's engineers about the warranty. "It is badly needed, with rust starting to show up," he said. "We need to move forward on it, but make sure you're covered."

Other issues   

    At Large Council Member Wayne Melbye said excess humidity isn't the only problem at the CSC. When the wind roars in the fall, winter and spring and there's snow and other moisture in the air outside, he said, there are wet spots on the ground in the Event Arena, and the acoustic sound panels are wet. "There's snow coming in," Melbye added. "That's not a humidity issue; that's structural."   

    Mayor Dave Genereux said there are some cracks that need to be caulked in the four-year old building.   

    Melbye suggested a more comprehensive response is needed. "This has been brought up before (with the contractors), and they were supposed to be in there finding a fix," he said.    

    At Large Council Member Bob Quanrud wondered "who's pushing the issue with the leakage?"    

    Riopelle said the architects have been contacted.