The Skate Ribbon
Spokane, Wash.
Best Project

Owner: City of Spokane Parks and Recreation
Lead Design Firm/Civil/Structural/MEP/Ice System Engineer: Stantec
General Contractor: Contractors Northwest Inc.
Electrical Engineer: Trindera Engineering
Landscape Architect: SPVV Landscape Architects

The $10-million Skate Ribbon converted a brownfield site in downtown Spokane, Wash., into more than 14,000 sq ft of skating space.

The 700-ft-long ice skating trail is the first ice ribbon on the West Coast and features slight—1% to 2%—undulating grades along the ice surface. The concrete flatwork showed particular craftsmanship, said the judges, as the meandering slopes and grades designed for the ribbon were very specific and difficult to replicate in the field.

Designer Jim Maland conceived the idea of an ice skate ribbon nearly 20 years ago on a trip to Sweden. “I saw this curious little refrigerated skating trail running up a steep hill to a small park building,” Maland says. “My initial thought was, ‘We’ve got to do this in a park, only tame it down a bit.’”

The project budget was a constant moving target given the unknowns of the site’s contaminated soils and the removal and transport of those soils. Overall, the project exceeded original cost estimates due to the contamination and the expensive treatment methods used for stormwater runoff into the Spokane River. In the end, workers removed more than 4,500 cu yd of contaminated soil from the site. Crews also removed old pilings left from a former railyard, numerous electric and communications vaults and very shallow bedrock.

The three-acre skating site also includes a 7,000-sq-ft SkyRide facility and adds another year-round attraction to the 100-acre Riverfront Park.