Mid-South Ice House in Memphis, Tennessee
With its humid subtropical climate and a lack of wintry conditions, including snow, hockey would seem a remote interest for the nearly 700,000 residents of Memphis, Tenn. However, deeply rooted in this Southeastern city, which ranks as the 20th largest in the United States, is a profound interest in hockey that extends beyond the Memphis River Kings minor league ice hockey team to the many adult and junior leagues throughout the region.
Unfortunately, for a time beginning in 2003, when the ice rink at the Mall of Memphis closed, hundreds of amateur hockey players and figure skaters lost their only ice. They were relocated to a local arena, home to the Mississippi Riverkings, but ice availability was very limited.
In 2010, a handful of ice-loving parents and participants joined up to address the issue by bringing a new facility for amateur skaters, as well as recreational skaters, to the citizens of the Memphis metro area.
Residents were delighted when their desire to spend more time on the ice was met in September 2011. That's when the Mid-South Ice House opened to provide the Memphis metro area with a year-round opportunity to play hockey, figure-skate, take lessons or just enjoy some leisurely ice time during the city's latest hot spell. Transformed from an empty warehouse to a premier ice skating facility—the only NHL regulation ice skating arena open year-round in the Memphis metro area—the Ice House also features numerous activities for all ages.
The facility's mission is to create and develop programs that everyone can enjoy, and it features a wide array of programming, including public skating, a skating school, theater on ice, curling and broomball, as well as traditional hockey and figure skating. The facility is "home ice" to the Ole Miss and University of Memphis, Division III hockey teams, playing host to games and practices. In addition, it plays host to broomball and skating parties. Citizens from all walks of life, and from all demographics, take part in the myriad opportunities to enjoy the ice.
"Several years of planning and research went into the design and construction of this arena," said Keith Saunders Sr., owner of Division 10 Inc., a provider of construction specialty products and services throughout Tennessee and the Southeastern region. "I've known one of the owners personally for 20 years and truly understood his desire to construct a state-of-the-art, professional skating experience for people who were already traveling to Little Rock or Nashville to improve their games and forms or just enjoy a skate anytime of year."
The Mid-South Ice House has continuous activity with minor league hockey, private leagues and the general public, so Saunders said the facility had to be built to last and take punishment on almost every level.
"We specified the strongest and most durable materials for use throughout the Ice House," Saunders explained. "That particularly included the restrooms, where we installed Resistall Partitions from Scranton Products. We knew we needed long-lasting toughness and based on my prior experience with the product line, Resistall was the first and really only choice."
A leading provider of unique and attractive interior partitions over the past 25 years, Scranton Products offers an assortment of HDPE products in variety of colors, textures and ADA-compliant configurations.
The partitions selected for the Mid-South Ice House are specially designed so they will never need to be painted. And unlike metal partitions, which are subject to rust, these partitions offer superior resistance to dents, scratches, graffiti, corrosion, mildew and moisture. On top of all of this, they also are very easy to clean and naturally resistant to bacteria.
"This arena is my passion," said Al Austin, co-owner of the Mid-South Ice House and a general contractor by trade. "I spent years developing this project and was deeply involved in every aspect of its planning and construction. I'm proud of what we accomplished and of the ability to provide our local Memphis residents with an ideal, year-round venue for participating in hockey, figure skating and all ice-related activities." Austin added, "We selected the partitions from Scranton Products because they fit into this overall vision. They are easy to maintain and extremely hard to dent as opposed to metal partitions. Plus, the pricing fit our budget and they do look good. The gray Resistall Partitions were used in 15 stalls and we haven't had a problem yet. In fact, I would be surprised if any arose since I installed several of them myself."