by Rick Winterson

Last Friday, October 13, South Boston’s Murphy Memorial Rink opened its doors for an inspection tour, prior to its opening for skaters early this week. Despite the date, it was not an unlucky day for South Boston. On the contrary, it was exactly the opposite.

Basically, an informal committee of four people from our State Legislature and from the Department of Conservation & Resources (the DCR) conducted the walk-through. They viewed and inspected the new and novel characteristics of the Murphy Rink, which are quite interesting from a scientific and engineering standpoint. The four individuals were: State Sen. Linda Dorcena Forry, State Rep. Nick Collins, DCR Deputy Commissioner of Operations Nick Gove, and the DCR Director of Government & Legislative Affairs Sean Pierce. Other staff people, from both the DCR and the Murphy Rink itself, were on hand to guide the inspection and answer any questions.

The actual opening of the Memorial Murphy Rink took place last Monday evening, when younger athletes aged five and six became the first skaters to use the brand new ice surface. The hours that the Rink is open will initially extend from 5 until 9 p.m. Later on, as the demand for skating times and hockey practices firms up and becomes clearer, the Murphy Rink’s hours will be extended from 3 until 11:30 p.m. Check with the Rink’s staff on this matter.

All four members of the informal inspection quartet expressed their satisfaction with the newly refurbished Murphy Memorial Rink. The project cost a total of $5 million. The brand new, high efficiency compressor (a Bitzer screw model) cost $1.2 million (installed cost) by itself. It is both functional, and in its way, quite beautiful. The Freon refrigerant is “ozone layer friendly”; complete heat reclamation and re-use is accomplished by warm side condensation.