City councillors want to see improvements made to the arena and threw their support behind the Strathcona Regional District, which is seeking funding for renovations.
The regional district has applied for $400,000 from the $30 million B.C. Community Recreation Fund.
Josie Rohne, facilities manager of Strathcona Gardens, said if the grant application is successful, planning would take place this year and the $968,000 arena project would be scheduled to begin at the end of March 2013.
The regional district would also be expected to fund a portion of the project, likely through capital funds.
Coun. Andy Adams brought forward the regional district’s grant funding application to the mayor and fellow councillors at last Tuesday’s council meeting.
“Arena one (Rod Brind’Amour Arena) has some significant infrastructure problems,” Adams said. “I think it’s in the best interest of the city to support this application from the Strathcona Regional District.”
Council agreed and voted to send a letter of support to the Community Recreation Fund in support of the grant application.
Rod Brind’Amour Arena, the larger of the two rinks at Strathcona Gardens and home of the Campbell River Storm, is in poor condition and needs immediate attention to the floor, boards and the brine lines Rohne said.
Brian Reardon, the regional district’s chief administrative officer, stressed the importance of upgrading the arena sooner rather than later, in the grant application.
“If this project is not completed soon, it is expected that there will be catastrophic failure of the concrete slab which will render the arena inoperable,” he said.
“If that were to happen it would have a devastating effect on the local arena user groups and public ice programming.
“Currently this ice surface is used 1,930 hours per year for youth activities and 423 hours per year for adult groups. If arena number one failed there would be nowhere else for these displaced groups to go as the other full-sized ice space at Strathcona Gardens is also booked to capacity.”
If the regional district manages to secure funding, construction on the area would likely take place between April and September 2013.
Rohne predicts the five-month closure would result in a revenue loss of approximately $22,000.