Hippodrome Ice Arena

White Bear Lake School District Makes Updates to Hippodrome Ice Arena

WBL is spiffin’ up the hipp wtih a new floor system.
Kyle Gillespie in the Hippodrome Ice Arena.

The Hippodrome, the ice arena built in 1926 and owned by the White Bear Lake school district, recently underwent updates altering the building’s flooring foundation. The school district went to Kyle Gillespie, co-owner of Rink-Tec International Inc., to do the work on the project.

In a three-week span, the old floor was replaced with a new concrete floor system with insulation and sub-floor heating. Part of the update—the new refrigeration system underneath the concrete—includes 35,000 feet of one-inch pipe. Glycol flows in these new tubes and chills the concrete to 16 degrees, so when the concrete is flooded with water, it will easily freeze. The upgrade also included LED lighting.

The project hits close to home for Gillespie—not only is he a White Bear Lake resident, but he has another personal connection to the work. In 1991, Duncan Gillespie, Kyle’s father and the founder of Rink-Tec, is the one who installed the building’s previous flooring system.

Kyle Gillespie says this upgrade makes the facility more user-friendly. Not only will it be easier and quicker to make ice, but it also enables the school to use the space for more functions. Prior to the concrete, the flooring system was just a sand bed with pipe in it, and with no concrete surface, the space could only be used for ice events.

Now, with the addition of the concrete floor, the building can support many events for the school, such as dry-floor events, inline hockey and other school sports.

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Hippodrome Renovation


Workers from Rink-Tec poured concrete in the rink area inside the Hippodrome in White Bear Lake Wednesday, May 20.

Kyle Gillespie, president and co-owner of Rink-Tec, said that his company’s part of the project will be completed in about a month. The ice skating facility is scheduled to re-open in September. Gillespie’s father Duncan installed the original refrigeration system back in 1991. — Photo by Paul Dols

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