For Immediate Release - April 04, 2012


Lieutenant Governor Murray joined local and state officials as well as the Charlestown communtiy to celebrate the installation of energy efficient improvements to the Emmons Horrigan O’Neil Memorial Rink in Charlestown. View additional photos.

BOSTON – Wednesday, April 4, 2012 – Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray, Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Richard K. Sullivan Jr., Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) Commissioner Edward Lambert and Department of Energy Resources Commissioner (DOER) Mark Sylvia today celebrated the installation of energy efficient improvements to the Emmons Horrigan O’Neil Memorial Rink in Charlestown. 

The new stimulus funded energy efficient ceilings, known as low-emissivity or Low-E ceilings, reduce the rink's carbon footprint, cut energy costs, improve ice conditions, create clearer acoustics while providing a more enjoyable space for skaters to enjoy. 

“Our Administration is committed to working with cities and towns to invest in infrastructure improvements, including for DCR facilities like skating rinks that enhance community and recreational activities in our neighborhoods,” said Lieutenant Governor Murray. “We’re applying more innovative and efficient models to support needed infrastructure, while delivering cost-savings for the Commonwealth and local skating rinks like the O’Neil Memorial Rink in Charlestown as well as other DCR rinks in Dorchester, South Boston, Weymouth and Hyde Park.”

This investment highlights the Patrick-Murray Administration’s commitment to parks and recreational facility capital improvements, lowering energy costs and promoting energy efficiency at Massachusetts parks and other DCR-managed facilities.

“These energy efficient investments not only reduce energy costs and cut energy use but help to enhance the recreational experience for rink patrons,” said Secretary Sullivan. “Despite our current economic challenges, the Patrick-Murray Administration is committed to improving our urban recreational spaces, which serve as centers of our communities.”  

At today’s event, officials also announced the installation of Low-E ceilings at four other DCR rinks: the Devine Memorial Rink in Dorchester, the Murphy Memorial Rink in South Boston, the Connell Memorial Rink in Weymouth and the Bajko Memorial Rink in Hyde Park. 

“DCR is excited by the Administration’s commitment to helping us provide the best recreational opportunities to the Commonwealth’s athletes,” said DCR Commissioner Lambert. “This investment is a great example of multi-agency collaboration to promote clean energy technology, efficiency and promote our state’s rinks.” 

In the past, the average utility cost for DCR rinks was $142,000 per facility. The new ceilings will reduce the overall refrigeration load by 25 to 40 percent. Additional benefits of the Low-E ceilings include increasing the rinks lighting foot candle by 25 percent and improving skating conditions by reducing condensation problems.

“Massachusetts is leading the clean energy revolution because of energy efficient investments like these that lower energy costs, reduce energy use and are good for the environment,” said DOER Commissioner Sylvia.  

The funding for the Low-E ceilings was allocated by the DOER from the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA). The design was completed by URS Corp. of Boston through an existing construction contract on January 6, 2012. The project was awarded to Enterprise Equipment Company Inc. of Weymouth in the amount of $442,400. The companies are scheduled to complete the work at all five rinks by mid-April in order to adhere to ARRA grant terms.

Rink ceilings generate a significant amount of heat that must be compensated for by the refrigeration system of the rink. The Low-E ceilings include additional insulation and use a polished aluminum surface, which reduces radiant heat emanating from the ceiling to only three percent of its maximum value. The aluminum surface also substantially increases the perceived light level and may allow a decrease in the number of light fixtures, resulting in even greater energy savings.

In addition to the installation of the Low-E ceiling, over the past five years DCR has completed over $250,000 in upgrades and repairs at the rink including improvements to the lobby, concession areas, restrooms and offices. DCR officials have repaired the rink dasher boards, Zamboni and made aesthetic improvements to the building and landscape. Over the next six months, DCR has a number of improvements proposed for the rink including the installation of a new dehumidification system, replacement of the dasher boards, roof repair and a new wireless public announcement system. These rink improvements will enhance the visitor experience at the facility, while reducing operating costs.

“I want to thank the Patrick-Murray Administration for their commitment to improving the Commonwealth’s recreational facilities,” said Senator Sal DiDomenico. “These renovations will make the Emmons Horrigan O’Neil Memorial Rink more energy efficient, improve ice quality for visitors and most importantly, preserve the facility so it may be used and enjoyed by residents of Charlestown for years to come.”

“The installation of these energy efficient roofing systems will result in savings in operational costs and insure the ability to maintain an entire and consistent ice surface,” said Representative Eugene L. O’Flaherty. “For the Charlestown Rink, this is essential work that will go a long way in maintaining and improving not only the physical structure but also the Charlestown Youth Hockey Association as a vibrant organization in the community. I am very grateful to the Patrick-Murray Administration and to DCR Commissioner Lambert for this necessary infusion of capital expenditures. In particular, my thanks to Lieutenant Governor Murray for his personal visit here some months ago and his commitment then to provide the resources necessary to maintain the Charlestown Rink as a vital state resource.”

The skating rink was named in 1983 after Frederick Douglas Emmons, a veteran of World War I, Seaman First Class John Gerald Horrigan and Mathew J. O’Neil.


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