Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Article
January 5, 1963

Picture of ice skating rink at Community Center

Good Skates Cut Fancy Figures As They Put Brookline On Ice

How Neighborhood Teamwork Pays Off
by RALPH BREM

Here's how to put your neighborhood recreation program on ice.

It's the recipe used by members of the Brookline Ice Skating Club.

Take a bundle of skate-happy volunteers, mix in jobs for everyone, lights, fence, sound equipment, wooden planks, tons of sand, and water.

Add a dash of friendly heavy equipment help, several pinches of patience, stir for about 350 hours, then chill.

Formula is the same for big or little rinks. The skaters used it for an 80' by 150' rink on the grounds of the Brookline Community Center Association on Breining Street.

They are all members of the association, too, but band together to run the skating club themselves. An initiation fee, plus dues, pays the way.

This is the last year 110 family-members made an 80' by 100' pond and held sixty-three skating sessions.

They take turns as rink guards, maintain the ice, and build the rink.

There's more to it than just flooding an open spot.

Here's how Lou Seidl, of 1637 Seaton Street, who was construction overseer this year, tells it.

First, smooth out the skating area ground.

Then, put down sheets of heavy plastic, seal the seams with a waterproof roof coating, and place two by four and two by eight planks around the outer edge for curbs.

Next comes the sand, poured and worked until there is about two inches leveled out over the rink area. Water the sand, it freezes quickly, then start building ice in long, slow spraying sessions. It must be built in thin layers.

"It worked out beautifully," Mr. Seidl said. "We got two inches of good ices over the whole area."

They figure they can go to eight inches if the weather stays cold.

Things to watch out for:

Make sure the ground beneath the plastic sheets is free of snow. Otherwise, air bubbles will develop beneath the ice.

Recipe Is Same For Little Rinks

Put down the sand layer; without it the ice forming on the plastic gets brittle and chips out.

Always scrape existing ice before spraying for more. Snow or shavings left by the skaters will freeze and make the ice rough.

The volunteers - about 18 men did the job - had members William O'Hanlon for electrician, Graydon Cook for sound and Sylvester Kuntz for construction advice. George Reichl was in charge of making ice.

They had help on leveling the site from Keystone Asphalt Co., which was moving a grader to Butler one Sunday and offered a few hours free work in a stop along the way.

Close to 600 feet of planks came from Norelco Corp., which also gave the association steel for its new shelter house in the park.

The association maintains the year-round recreation center for its members on the old Anderson farm. Co-ordinating the project was R. H. Eberhart.

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