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Winter Work: How Public Service Workers Make Knoxville's Holidays on Ice Happen 
Layers. That’s the secret to enduring outdoor work in cold weather with the City’s fall and Christmas in the City events. Just like City staffers’ wardrobe strategy, there are many layers involved in making these public events successful. City employees play a direct role in 20 events during the holidays, in addition to supporting nearly 100 events by other organizations.

This "Winter Work" blog series highlights a handful of employees that help bring the magic of the holidays to Knoxville.

Steve Ogle, Public Service

Position: Construction Foreman
With the City since: 2010

The City’s Holidays on Ice skating rink on Market Square has become a focal point of Christmas in the City.

After evaluating the process of constructing the rink years ago, the City determined that it would be more cost-effective to build the “sand box” foundation for the ice skating rink with in-house expertise and labor.

Enter the Public Service Department.

Public Service’s Pipe Crew, which in general is called in to install any pipes needed in a City construction project, was enlisted to build a frame based on Civil Engineering’s measurements.

Steve Ogle, Construction Foreman, has overseen the 40-by-100-foot construction for the last six years. His crew is able to reuse the frame every other year, saving on time and materials.

“People come up and ask us what we’re building, and our guys always joke that we’re building a giant kitty
litter box,” Ogle said.

After the frame is completed, the Heavy Equipment Crew spreads 200 tons of sand – that 2.5 times
the weight of the Space Shuttle - within the frame constructed on Market Square. Staff from the City’s new Greenways Service Crew will expedite the sand delivery process with new, specialized equipment. The sand helps to prevent the ice from melting and is reused in City projects after Christmas in the City ends in January.

The Facilities Crew also contributes and creates the space for the rink on Market Square by removing benches and fencing and by building the ice rink stages.

Between 15,000 and 17,000 skate the rink each year. Among them are Ogle and his grandkids; skating has become a family holiday tradition.

“It’s pretty special to skate with them, knowing that I had a hand in building the rink,” Ogle said.

Thanks to these crews from the Public Service Department for helping to make holiday memories for
thousands of families enjoying Holidays on Ice over the years!

The "sandbox" has already been constructed this year and work is now underway to build the remainder of the ice rink. Ice skating season will kick off at the City of Knoxville's Celebration of Lights event, which will be held Friday, Nov. 23, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Click HERE to view more information on Knoxville's Holidays on Ice.

Posted by On 15 November, 2018 at 7:05 PM