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Practice Facility Construction Hits Milestone

An ECO-CHILL system, which will allow the building to maintain ice, was installed on Wednesday

by Dan Marrazza @GoldenKnights /

Ice, ice, maybe?

Well, when it comes to the Golden Knights' future practice facility, there are no "maybes."

With the expectation of opening later this year, the two ice sheet, 146,000 square foot arena that's currently being built in Summerlin took a significant step in its construction process on Wednesday.

The building's massive ECO-CHILL system, which will provide the coolant that will allow ice to survive the heat of the Nevada desert, arrived via truck delivery and was installed behind the rear end of the facility.

"This is really the engine that drives the ice plants," Golden Knights senior vice president Murray Craven said. "It provides the coolant for all the piping that goes underneath both ice sheets. Along with that, it produces a lot of heat that will basically be transformed into energy for the rest of the building. 

Tweet from @GoldenKnights: Our team's practice facility now has the equipment needed to maintain two NHL-sized ice surfaces. #BoldInGoldMore:


"Most of our heating and cooling and domestic hot water will be run off of this plant also. It's very efficient. It's called their ECO-CHILL system. So we're looking forward to cashing in on the fact that we're kind of creating our own power."

As Craven said, the system the team has chosen aims to deliver the best quality ice possible in an environmentally green manner.

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It does this by recycling and reusing energy to not only maintain the facility's ice surfaces, but to also moderate other temperature-related facets of the arena. These include controlling the water temperatures in showers, snow melting systems, under-floor radiant heating and fresh air systems.

"We're not just taking all that heat and blowing it out of the building," Craven, a retired 18-year NHL veteran, said. "We're turning that around into energy. From an operational standpoint, it's going to really help us operate efficiently. And that'll help us keep costs down."

This installation was just the latest milestone in the construction process of the Golden Knights' practice facility.

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Craven says that the facility's roof, which only began to be assembled weeks ago, is now more than 1/3 complete.

This is in addition to bleachers that have been added, steel formations that have been placed and sheetrock and drywall being added within the team's future locker room area.

"Next week, we're finishing the roof," Craven said. "It'll be nice to get that buttoned up, roof on, walls on. We won't have to worry about the elements.

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"Anyone who works outside knows it's energy sapping. But I think we'll be inside for a lot of the work. When the real heat hits here in Las Vegas, there will be lots of exterior work still to do. But the lion's share of it will be in the interior, so that's a positive.

"From there, it'll be lock step with everything. For us this is just a regular schedule."

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