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

Victoria teen killed by falling tree, remembered as hero

Tai Caverhill was the first to spot the tree falling towards him and his friends

Victoria woman in L.A. hospital after she was run over twice

Lynn Phillips has suffered from multiple broken bones and internal bleeding

Researchers say ‘text neck’ causing bone spurs to grow from millenials’ skulls

Technology use from early childhood causing abnormal bone growths in 41 per cent of young adults

Tiny Yorkshire terrier Poppie survives days on remote island

ROAM rescue crews, family searched for dog, missing in Saanich for days

VIDEO: Performers awe crowds at 2019 Indigenous Cultural Festival

Dancers and singers from First Nations across B.C. gather in Victoria

Air Canada reviewing how crew left sleeping passenger on parked plane

In a Facebook post, the woman said she woke up ‘all alone’ on a ‘cold dark’ aircraft

Only legal pot shop between Vancouver and Kamloops now open

Private cannabis store on Skwah land in Chilliwack is first B.C. licensee to be Indigenous owned

Canadian communities responding to climate change

New research highlights state of local adaptation planning in Canada

B.C. judge defies lawyers and adds six months to man’s sex assault sentence

‘I find the joint submission is contrary to the public interest and I’m rejecting it’

Man presumed dead after boat capsizes in Columbia River

Search and rescue efforts recovered a life jacket

Crews fight wildfire along Sea-to-Sky Highway

A cause has not been determined, although a downed power line is suspected

PHOTOS: Event marks one year since soccer team rescued from Thai cave

Nine players and coach took part in marathon and bike event to help improve conditions at cave

Rock climber dies after fall at Stawamus Chief in Squamish

The man had fallen about 30 metres while climbing in the Grand Wall area

Most Read