With every arena visit I make, I’m on the lookout for the extraodinary additions ice makers have implemented that others might like to adopt. One of those great ideas comes from Perry Cavanagh, the GM at the Don Hartman North East Sportsplex in Calgary, Alberta. To give you a little background on this facility, it’s owned by the City of Calgary, but it’s run by a non-profit board. There’s a gym and fitness studio in addition to the two NHL-sized ice surfaces. Their Zamboni room is East-West to the twin pads’ North-South orientation, which means that their machine goes out to do an ice make on Rink “A” and when it comes back in, it’s pointed in the direction of Rink “B” — one machine two filling stations. 

But that’s just a detail. What Cavanagh’s done that I found so impressive are his framed operations notes in the mechanical room.

Putting it in the Frame


Cavanagh wants to be sure his operations team understand how the equipment in the mechanical room works, ensuring they have a quick-and-easy reference if they ever have questions. An electrical engineering technologist by trade, he understands schematics and finds that visuals go a long way to explaining what’s what.



“Obviously, inside the room, there are critical things and non-critical things,” he explains. “We train the operators how to maintain the operation of the facility, so normally there are things we know a lot about, but we don’t know everything. We want them to go into the room four times a day – twice on each shift, they’re able to see the information logged at 9, 3, 6 and 11, if they see something, see a red light, immediately they call me,”




Cavanagh says the operations notes are a helping hand.


“It helps us know what a particular piece of equipment is, and make sure it’s operating properly.”




Dotted throughout the mechanical room are the operation notes in frames that show what that particular piece of equipment is, and how it works. That includes everything from the compressors to sump pumps — and how refrigeration works.


Take a look!