Saanich has applied for funding from senior levels of government to help improve Gold Arena in Saanich’s Pearkes Recreation Centre (Black Press File).

Saanich looks for financial assist to improve hockey arena

First round of upgrades to Gold Arena at Pearkes Recreation Centre top $9 million

Saanich is asking the federal and provincial governments to help pay for improvements to Pearkes Recreation Centre.

Pending council approval, Saanich is applying to the Community, Culture, and Recreation (CCR) Program, a joint federal/provincial initiative, to help fund the first phase of proposed improvements to Gold Arena, the name of the original rink that opened in October 1968. The rink – which accounts for about one-third of the entire complex – has been showing its age for some time.

RELATED: Family front and centre at Pearkes Arena anniversary celebrations

According to staff documents, the requested grant will cover 73 per cent of the total cost, with Saanich covering the remaining 27 per cent – or $2.65 million – of the remaining project. The total value of the first phase is $9.81 million.

Pearkes manager Graham Thomson said the project addresses, among other concerns, the immediate need to replace the slab of Pearkes’ Gold Arena. He said it will ensure the long term viability of the arena’s operation.

“We should find out by summer 2019 if our grant application is approved,” he said. “If successful in our funding request, we are committed to working with our user groups and regional partners to minimize the impact on their offerings.”

Other improvements would include improvements to the facility’s accessibility features including a new elevator, ramp to the field house, dressing rooms and access to the Gold Arena ice surface and energy efficiency improvements including heat recovery from the ice plant for other parts.

The funding, if approved, would not add a third rink to the facility.

RELATED: Third rink needed immediately at Pearkes, say users

The second phase of the proposed improvements would include a full seismic upgrade to the Gold Arena.

Saanich’s share for the first phase of the project would come from the facilities major repair and replacement reserve fund, which had a balance of almost $8.3 million on Dec. 31, 2017. It was set to reach more than $11.7 million by the end of 2018, according to a staff report.

RELATED: Minor hockey gets behind Spectrum rink proposal

The funding request exists independently of efforts by Spectrum Community School to add a rink, but nonetheless relates to it. If Saanich were to improve Gold Arena, it would leave the community with one public, Saanich-owned rink – a threatening scenario for Saanich Minor Hockey Association said its president, David Horricks.

“Without an alternative rink, when the Gold rink goes down, the association goes down,” Horricks said earlier. “We have to get that message to the council. Saanich Minor Hockey would close, you can’t run it with one rink, it’s impossible. You need a certain threshold of kids in order to populate all the age groups.”

Accordingly, the association has been backing plans for a new rink at Spectrum, but not at the expense of another rink at Pearkes.

“The need for another rink at Pearkes remains our No. 1 concern,” he said. “If two more rinks were built they would both be full immediately.”


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

wolfgang.depner@saanichnews.com

 

Just Posted

Hundreds of foreign species continue to wash along B.C. coast following Japanese tsunami

The Royal BC Museum is home to thousands of samples collected along the west coast of North America

Lone wolf eating seal and howling away on Discovery Island

Fun facts about Takaya the wolf, like his a 36-hour tour around Chatham, Discovery Islands

Church bells to ring for 11 minutes in support of Global Climate Strike

Each minute to signify years left to drastically reduce greenhouse gas pollution

One-man Frankenstein show coming to Craigdarroch Castle

The Halloween special will kick off at the beginning of October

Crown alleges resentment of ex-wife drove Oak Bay father to kill his daughters

Patrick Weir alleged in his closing arguments that Andrew Berry is responsible for the deaths of his daughters

PHOTOS: Young protesters in B.C. and beyond demand climate change action

Many demonstaers were kids and teens who skipped school to take part

Walmart to quit selling e-cigarettes amid vaping backlash

U.S.’s largest retailer points to ‘growing’ complications in federal, state and local regulations

Former B.C. lifeguard gets house arrest for possession of child porn

Cees Vanderniet of Grand Forks will serve six months of house arrest, then two years’ probation

How to react to Trudeau’s racist photos? With humility, B.C. prof says

‘We are now treating racism as a crime that you cannot recover from’

‘I’d do it again,’ says B.C. man who swam naked, drunk in Toronto shark tank

David Weaver, of Nelson, was drunk when he went to Ripley’s Aquarium in Toronto on Oct. 12 2018

VIDEO: Fire destroys Williams Lake strip club targeted by past arson attempts

Diamonds and Dust Entertainment Lounge destroyed by fire, as well as New World Tea and Coffee House

Trudeau seeks meeting with Singh to apologize for blackface, brownface photos

‘I will be apologizing to him personally as a racialized Canadian,’ Trudeau said Friday

Crime Stoppers most wanted for Greater Victoria for the week of September 17

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Should the province step in to upgrade the road to Bamfield?

The death of two University of Victoria students on a bus bound… Continue reading

Most Read