Loring Arena Committee Discusses COVID-19 Protocols & Budget; Considering LED Lights

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By Luke Canavan

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FRAMINGHAM – The Loring Ice Arena Committee met virtually Wednesday, March 24, to discuss recent developments with the Loring Ice Arena.

The Loring Ice Arena has been following COVID-19 protocols since the start of the pandemic.

For a while, the arena was closed. Currently, they are allowing teams to play games, but the locker rooms are closed and there are no fans allowed, including parents. The exception to this was senior night, where they allowed two parents or guardians of each player to be in attendance.

The Fiscal Year 2022 budget, which starts July 1, is still being worked on, but things seem to be in good shape.

“For the budget, I have actually done really well this year,” said Arena Director Richard Weston, who went on to discuss how he had to decrease the budget last year by about $30,000, but this year they were actually increasing the budget by over $100,000.

A recent ammonia leak at the arena brought in the fire department, who also called in the hazmat team.

“It was actually a valve, and because the ammonia was so cold and in the room… it just collapsed the packing enough where it was leaking,” said Weston. Since the incident, there have been no problems with any of the valves.

Weston also said they are working on acquiring LEDs for the rink, and are planning to go through the same company that makes the lights for the TD Garden Ice Rink in Boston.

Framingham High School is playing Monday at 6 p.m.. against Xaverian at the arena. They are going to allow two parents or siblings from each participant into the stands.

Although some of the rinks have opened up locker rooms, Weston is still unsure if that is the right call.

“To be honest with you guys, I think that’s a little early,” said Weston.

The concern is that if the locker rooms open up, players will have a hard time following COVID-19 protocol, such as staying six feet apart and wearing a mask at all times.

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Luke Canavan is a spring 2021 SOURCE intern. He is currently a senior at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where he studies Communication and English. He is passionate about film, television, writing, and literature, and upon graduation, he hopes to work in the entertainment industry full-time, where he can pursue his love for storytelling.

editor

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