Project Overview: In late 2013, the City of Valparaiso Parks and Recreation Department decided to expand Central Park Plaza to include a pavilion. The Urschel Pavilion, which was funded by a generous donation from William E. Urschel and other locals, was designed to house the farmers market and other shops and activities during the spring and summer as well as a public ice skating arena during the late fall and winter.

Overall, the project took about a year to complete. The City of Valparaiso chose Berglund Construction as the general contractor and Design Organization Architects as the designer. Ozinga Ready Mix was chosen as the ready mix supplier for the project, which included 40,000 square feet of concrete pavement and 10,000 square feet of precast pavers.

Although just shy of a regulation hockey rink, it can hold nearly 400 skaters at one time. The new ice skating pavilion also has a masonry façade, decorative wood trusses, and skylights.

Concrete and Innovation: Ozinga Ready Mix supplied and poured 1,887 yards of both regular concrete mixes and flowable fill to complete the project. Due to a short timeline, many of the construction activities were performed during the winter months. Heated enclosures were used during these activities to keep the project on schedule.

To add some pleasing aesthetics, integrally colored concrete was used in areas designed for pedestrian traffic and gathering spaces. This is a highly versatile and durable material that is non-fading and UV-resistant. Graphite and kahlua colors were chosen for their neutral look that will complement the variety of the year-round events held at the pavilion.

As for the rink, it was necessary to waterproof the area used for zamboni storage. Ozinga Ready Mix used Vapor Lock 20/20 Moisture Barrier for this specific area. This is a ready-to-use concrete admixture that eliminates moisture vapor emission and hardens, seals, and densifies the concrete to ensure longevity.

Sustainability: The Vapor Lock 20/20 Moisture Barrier is comprised of healthy, low-VOC materials that stop moisture-related construction issues and disallows moisture vapor emissions (MVE) to emanate from the concrete. In addition, the ice rink itself was designed for maximum energy efficiency and the lowest impact to the environment. Natural wood was used for some of the construction, and skylights and glass enclosures help with energy efficiency.

Teamwork: The City of Valparaiso Parks and Recreation Department was directly involved with this project. The mayor of Valparaiso was at the job site at least once every two weeks (if not more) with his own team of people while construction was going on, and they had a hand in the project and its completion.

Because of the short timeline, it was essential that all parties kept open lines of communication at all times. Berglund Construction, Design Organization Architects, the City of Valparaiso Parks and Recreation Department, and Ozinga Ready Mix worked together and overcame challenges to keep the project on schedule and on budget. A grand opening event for the ice arena was held on November 28, 2015.