Construction is nearly complete on a $3.9 million planned renovation project at the Guidant John Rose MN OVAL, just in time for the opening of the rink’s 29th season on November 18, 2022.
The project is being funded with State of Minnesota Capital Investment dollars and was developed to update elements of the OVAL that had outlived their useful life. “These renovations ensure that the MN OVAL will continue to be a special recreation destination for years to come, not only for Roseville residents, but for the region, and the state of Minnesota as well,” says Parks and Recreation Director Matthew Johnson.
The city commissioned a comprehensive site assessment in 2018 to prioritize planned repairs as original rink components began to reach the end of their lifespan.
One of the most visible updates will be to the area around the outside of the MN OVAL rink. In recent years, the surface of the perimeter track (the area that keeps snow and ice from accumulating on the ice sheet itself and is used for athlete dry-land training) had developed significant cracks and humps, creating the threat of drainage heading underneath the ice sheet. This would be a very serious and expensive issue, if left unresolved. The city contracted Goodmanson Construction to reconstruct this area using modern tools such as trench drains to divert water into the catch basins underneath the ice. This will serve to protect the nearly 80 miles of piping underneath the ice sheet.
Contractors also replaced items in the refrigeration system including the chiller, brine pumps, controls, alarm system, and more.
The project includes a new speedskating padding system. Engineers and staff worked with the speedskaters who use the MN OVAL to develop a new padding system that will create a safer environment for skaters. They contracted Twin Cities-based Kaiser Manufacturing and Italy-based Impakt Sport to create custom pads for the rink. Impakt Sport is a leader in speed skate protection, creating padding systems that have been used in multiple Olympic games.
Contractors also worked to make the facility more accessible to visitors with the addition of a heated concrete access ramp that connects the OVAL lobby to the rink surface. The previous asphalt ramp had significant cracking from exposure to the elements, and was unsafe due to ice build-up in winter.
“We’re thrilled with the progress on these much needed improvements and can’t wait to see all kinds of skaters back on the MN OVAL this winter,” says Parks and Recreation Director Matthew Johnson.
About the Guidant John Rose Minnesota Oval
The MN OVAL is the largest refrigerated sheet of ice in the nation and is one of four full international speedskating tracks in the United States.