Feb. 19, 2007

Neighbors build igloo in their yards

By Ryan Gueningsman
Managing Editor

What had been talked about for some time finally became a reality for two neighbors in Delano – with the construction of an authentic igloo.

Neighbors Derek Schansberg and Brad Stoddard, who live on Pioneer Creek Drive, built the igloo to enjoy the winter months with their families.

“We’ll probably go bigger next year, or do something different,” Stoddard said, adding with a laugh that they don’t quite have the equipment it takes to do anything comparable to the St. Paul Winter Carnival.

The two men cut large blocks of ice from a local lake, hauled them to a trailer, and cut them to size once they got back home in Delano. They also used forms to make blocks.

They worked in their front yards, and said one night they stayed out until 1 a.m. cutting and forming the 42 blocks.

“It was pretty easy to put together,” Stoddard said, noting they used a mix of slush, snow, and water to make a mortar-type mix to hold the blocks together.

“It’s just like laying concrete blocks,” he said.

Schansberg said blueprints were found online for an igloo, but said they basically “winged it,” and used a laser level for making sure everything was in the right spot.

They began the project several weeks back, and worked on it for several nights over the course of the last month.

They said they had to assemble the blocks on a cold night so they would stick together. Stoddard said the flattest place they could find was directly between their two homes, so that is where they built their igloo.

So far, a few people have dropped in to check out the igloo, which Schansberg said he planned on sleeping in Friday night.

“I work in the cold, so I’m not sleeping in it,” added Stoddard with a laugh.

Stoddard works in construction, and lives in Delano with his wife, Melissa, and children Presley, Shelby, and Tori.

Schansberg lives next door with his wife, Sandy, and children, Julia and Cole. He owns Midwest Residential Mortgage in Delano, which is located in the Granite Works building.

“It was fun,” Stoddard said. “It was a good time building it.”

“Even when you were complaining about the cold,” chimed in Schansberg.

“I did complain about the cold a lot,” Stoddard admitted with a laugh.

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