Renovations at Rod Brind’Amour Arena could begin next year if the Strathcona Regional District can secure some grant funding.
The regional district has applied for $400,000 from the British Columbia Community Recreation Program Fund, which was announced by Premier Christy Clark in September.
Josie Rohne, facilities manager of Strathcona Gardens, said if the grant application is successful, planning for the arena project, including the awarding of the project to a contractor, would take place in 2012 and the project would be scheduled to begin in March of 2013.
“During the construction phase the community would be down one arena from April-September 2013,” said Rohne in a report to the Strathcona Regional District Board. “This would mean that for the dry floor user groups; lacrosse and ball hockey, they would be required to adjust their rental times in arena number two and to book more time at the new (outdoor) lacrosse box.
“We would expect that the upgrades would be completed prior to the start of the 2013-2014 ice season.”
Rohne said it’s estimated that the five month closure of the facility would result in a loss of approximately $22,000 in revenue, from dry floor and ice rentals.
However, she said that would be balanced off by the reduction in work force and other operating expenses during the arena closure.
The Regional District has been aware of the need to improve Rod Brind’Amour Arena, the larger of the two arenas at Strathcona Gardens and home of the Campbell River Storm, for several years.
A Building Condition Assessment was conducted on the Strathcona Gardens complex on April 24, 2007.
“From the report, Strathcona Gardens has been identified as an aging facility and that it is in reasonably good condition, but the Rod Brind’Amour Arena has been rated poorly,” Rohne said. “It has been identified that the Brind’Amour Arena needs immediate attention to the floor, boards and the brine lines in order to maintain the current service level during the future ice season, without worrying about equipment failure.”
Brian Reardon, chief administrative officer for the regional district, stressed the importance of the project in the regional district’s grant funding 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. “It 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.”
The project is estimated to cost $968,000. If the regional district can successfully secure the $400,000 in grant funding, it will need to set aside capital funds and reserves to fund its portion of the project, Rohne said.
Rod Brind’Amour Arena is currently used by such groups as the Campbell River Storm, Campbell River Stars Hockey Club, Campbell River Tyee rep hockey, the Pioneer Hockey Club, the Campbell River Skating Club, and Campbell River Minor Hockey.