“Dad, why do they need sprinklers over the ice at all? Will it catch fire?”
Out of the mouths of babes… Lily is a smart cookie, and she had immediately grasped the situation. I didn’t quite know what to tell her, didn’t know where to begin.
“Well you see, Lily, Beaverton has special, extra pure water. It’s so pure that it burns,” kidded Wayne from nearby.
The joke is funny at least until we pay the $6000 to recover from it. That is the estimated charge for installing a new sprinkler system around the perimeter of the curling rink. The perimeter sprinkler system is a compromise solution to ECC’s Burning Ice problem, a product of a series of conversations among our architect, the City of Beaverton, and our Fire Systems sub-contractor.
They tried to convince Beaverton that according to code we require neither a sprinkler system nor a fire alarm. Our use and our occupancy appear to put us in a category in which these systems are not required. Also, the low-e ceiling is composed of loosely draped strips of thin fabric that do not prevent water from the existing sprinklers from reaching the walls or the floor. But Beaverton was adamant that we install sprinklers or alarms, so we will go with sprinklers.
Maybe it is for the best. As Dan Getschow pointed out to me yesterday, maybe our insurance policy will require sprinklers anyway. Regardless, the Fire Systems contractor will begin on Tuesday and plans to be done by the end of the week. Then we will get on with building the ice floor.
For the curious who, like Lily, might be wondering why anybody cares about ice catching fire, I searched the Internet and found a few fun possibilities. Try to enjoy these while we wait a bit longer for Oregon’s first dedicated curling facility.
Burning Ice — a 2009 documentary about a group of climate change activists who ventured in an ice-breaker ship to Greenland to view the effects of global warming first hand.
Burning Ice — a YouTube video showing UC Irvine undergrads burning propane clathrate hydrate. Just for the record, the Evergreen Curling Club does not plan to trap any propane in its curling rink.
Icefire – a 2003 children’s fantasy novel by English author Chris d’Lacey. The story features Ragnar, a legendary, scarred polar bear who is said to have roared so loud that a tooth came out of his mouth, and he pounded it into the ice and it formed the island called the Tooth of Ragnar.
Fire+Ice — A Boston area restaurant chain that has been astonishing diners since 1997. You choose your own meat, seafood, tofu, veggies, sauces, and put them in a bowl. Hand the bowl to chefs who cook the entire mixture and perform their magic around the world’s largest Mongolian grill. With large drinks, entertaining chefs, and lively crowd, Fire + Ice can be lots of fun and will delight and excite your senses. Although no two people may ever create the same dish, everyone is sure to have fun!