Mold in Sports and Health Center ice rink affects club hockey, climbing programs

 RSOP student worker Haley Loney sits next to the Facilities Management's notice and lets students know that the ice rink and track is closed. Photo by Samantha Church

RSOP student worker Haley Loney sits next to the Facilities Management's notice and lets students know that the ice rink and track is closed. Photo by Samantha Church

UMD Sports and Health Center’s ice sheet is officially closed for the indefinite future as black mold was found inside the facility.

The decision also closed the indoor running track and the rock climbing wall located inside the same building.  

 Joel Sanderson, intramural director addressing a group of intramural students. Photo by Connor Shea 

Joel Sanderson, intramural director addressing a group of intramural students. Photo by Connor Shea 

Intramural director Joel Sanderson expressed disappointment as he told a room full of students that their intramural seasons have been ended.

“I wanted to try and get each sport their own tournament, but more tests were run and the decision was made to shut the facility down, unfortunately ending intramurals for the season,” Sanderson said.

Intramural hockey captain and broomball player Payton Green held no sympathy towards UMD for the rink closure.

“Considering the amount of money we spend on tuition and fees, this situation shows that things could be run much better,” Green said.

Sanderson also tried to find ice time at other rinks within the city, but the other rinks were full of reservations.

“You can’t just call the week before and ask for 24 hours of ice time over the next two weeks,” Sanderson said. “They just don’t have it.”

Another affected program was UMD women’s club hockey, a team trying to qualify for postseason play.

 A white tarp is draped around the ice rink as construction crews work to remove the black mold. Photo by Samantha Church 

A white tarp is draped around the ice rink as construction crews work to remove the black mold. Photo by Samantha Church 

Cassie Pelland, president of UMD women’s club hockey, told of the stress involved in having their home ice taken away.

“Luckily we have found ice to use,” Pelland said. “We have a crucial game that will affect qualification for nationals this weekend.”

Pelland also had to avoid canceling the game, due to American Club Hockey Association rules.

“If we would have canceled the game then we would have to pay a fine,” Pelland said.

Sanderson was also not hopeful of indoor spring intramural activities taking place in the rink.

“There was also mold found in the carpet we use for indoor soccer and tennis, and we had to throw it away,” Sanderson said.

The larger of the two climbing walls on campus, the inland wall, was also cordoned off by campus officials.

Lucas Kramer, RSOP’s climbing coordinator, has found ways to manage with only half his terrain open.

“We have a competition tomorrow, so luckily we can still complete that as scheduled,” Kramer said.

Kramer told of the inland walls uses, and the activities the closure effects.

“The inland wall is one of the best indoor facilities in the Midwest so we like to use it as a classroom and as a training space,” Kramer said. “We still haven’t found all the solutions quite yet.”

With many programs now in search of a home, the ice rink closure will continue to affect students and the RSOP indefinitely.

 

 

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