Construction of a temporary ice skating rink in the centre of Palmerston North began today.
More than 20,000 people are expected to don skates for a slip and slide on rink in The Square this month.
Owner Gareth Webber said the 35-metre by 15m rink about half the size of an ice hockey rink was scheduled to open on Saturday.
Mr Webber said the rink, which will take about a day to construct, would be put together in stages.
Firstly, a layer of fine dirt was put down and levelled out, while a layer of polystyrene was then placed over the dirt, and a sheet of polyurethane put on top, he said.
Aluminium tubes are then are positioned on top a few centimetres apart where cold fluid will run underneath the pipes.
A chiller keeps the fluid at -12 degrees Celsius.
About 45,000 litres of water is poured over the pipes and it freezes into a solid hunk of ice.
"I think we should get a minimum of 20,000 people but I'm hoping for 30,000 in the month we're open,'' he said.
"It's a great experience. I've been known to have a skate after hours.''
The rink would be semi-covered by a marquee and lit up with "ambient lighting'' and fairy lights.
"It's not a kids disco though. It's meant to be a peaceful experience, so there will be ambient music playing also.''
Mr Webber said a number of assistants working at the rink had ice skating and hockey experience. A coach had also been hired for free after school lessons on Mondays and Thursdays.
For unlimited time on the ice, as well as hireage of skates, adults would pay $20 and children $15, with a family pass costing $50.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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