ERIE, Pa. — Let there be ice.
The rink at the JMC Ice Arena is finally fixed thanks to a new tool that Erie was the first in the country to try.
After four months of research and failed repair attempts, they found the leak and there is already 1/2 inch of ice at the arena. There is expected to be enough ice to open the rink to skaters on Thursday.
The solution? A lot of help came from GE and a new sealant product mixed with a refrigerant — something that the JMC Ice Arena was the first in the country to try.
Between repairs and losing contracts from organizations, the leak cost around $200,000. Employees were also laid off, but Erie Zoo director, Scott Mitchell, expects most people will be hired back eventually.
But there’s still a huge loss in revenue that they need to make up for, as the ice arena funds the zoo during the winter.
Mitchell is hopeful that the troubles are over for the arena, praising the GE team for the hours that they put into helping the community
“We are tickled obviously,” Mitchell said. “We were not about to give up, we were going to try anything we could, but I’m sure we are not as happy as the local youth hockey and figure skaters and all of those people because it’s been a hardship on them as well.”
Hockey teams will be back on the ice as soon as Thursday.
Despite it being halfway through the season, Mitchell hopes that many of the teams will come back and still play through March.
The first open skate is scheduled for Friday.