Hazelton British Columbia – April 22, 2015 – About 40 concerned citizens attended a meeting Wednesday April 15th to discuss efforts to find a temporary solution to the closure of Ken Trombley Arena and to get an update on funding for the new arena.
Vivienne Spooner, president of the Skeena Ice Arena Association, informed attendees that the board is seeking out qualified contractors to demolish the existing roof as soon as possible. She stated the board is committed to finding a temporary solution so Hazelton skaters can get on the ice in October. The board is looking at a number of temporary structures that may be erected until a new recreation centre is built.
Chair of the Upper Skeena Recreation Centre Fundraising Committee, Dr. Peter Newbery, provided an update on seeking out funding for the new rec centre. The USRC Owners’ Committee has submitted a bid for the Federal Gas Tax Fund. The Fund is designed to help municipalities build and revitalize their local public infrastructure. The request is for $10 Million and, along with close to 5 million already raised locally would cover the cost of the new Centre.
Dr. Newbery has also revealed some changes to the plans for the new Centre. Previously the plan was to utilize a re-purposed Ken Trombley Arena as a dry floor recreation centre after the new centre is built. However the structural problems have led the Owners’ Committee to instead add space to the new rec centre to accommodate a dry floor sports surface as well as a climbing wall, and other indoor fitness activities.
The call for support letters for the new centre was a resounding success. Dozens and dozens of you wrote letters making a very passionate case for the new Centre. Neil Sterritt Sr., 101-year-old member of our community, has written to tell us how the community came together in 1969 to start the work on our now 44-year-old arena. Children as young as 4 have written to tell us that they need the arena to help them grow, learn, have fun and develop.
The arena has been a symbol of the spirit and volunteer commitment of our community. That spirit is still alive and we are going to build a new arena that will serve our community again. The Skeena Ice Arena Board and Owners’ Committee will continue to work diligently to ensure there is ice available this coming season and we will realize our ultimate goal of a new recreation centre in the next couple of years.
Visit our website at www.heartofthehazeltons.ca and our Upper Skeena Recreation Centre Facebook page for the latest updates. We can also be found on Twitter @HeartofHazelton.