Strathcona Gardens arena upgrade on budget

Upgrades to Campbell River's aging Rod Brind’Amour Arena are underway

Upgrades to aging Rod Brind’Amour Arena are underway and on budget, according to the regional district.

Campbell River lacrosse teams have been playing home games on the smaller, recreational rink at Strathcona Gardens because the cement slab that sits under the sheet ice has been taken out.

Josie Rohne, facility manager at Strathcona Gardens, said the $1.1 million project is going along smoothly.

“Over the past four weeks, there has been good progress with the replacement of the slab and boards at the Brind’Amour Arena,” Rohne said. “The arena boards have been removed and work has commenced on the new slab.”

Once construction is complete, the arena will shrink in size by eight inches – four inches per side.

“This would be done by placing the boards on top of the slab which would create a more efficient but smaller ice surface,” Rohne said. “After communicating with BC Hockey, Hockey Canada and various user groups it was confirmed that Strathcona Gardens would still qualify to host the events that we currently run but we wouldn’t qualify for National Championships, Worlds or Olympic qualifying events, which we wouldn’t be able to host (currently) because of our seating capacity.”

In an update on the arena project to the Strathcona Gardens Commission, Rohne said the sand, insulation and rebar is now all in place and the brine lines have been laid. Concrete was poured last week.

“The arena project is currently on time and on budget and the renovation has not interfered with the day-to-day business at the facility,” Rohne said.

The Strathcona Regional District budgeted $64,000 for project management and $904,200 for the arena floor and dasher board system in the 2013 budget.

The regional district had applied last year for a $400,000 grant from the $30 million B.C. Community Recreation Fund for some help with the project, but the application was denied.

Regional directors voted to proceed with the project despite the rejection as the clock was ticking.

Rohne had told directors that if repairs were not done soon, the concrete slab under the ice would fail making it impossible to make ice. There was also a large crack running across the floor that had been filled in with deteriorating material.

“Not proceeding with this project has the potential of loss of revenues and employment for many of our staff,” Rohne said at the time. “Not to say the implications of the ice cancellations to both minor hockey groups and adult hockey.

“Our Jr. B hockey club (the Campbell River Storm) would be affected and that would also have an effect on the Island Jr. (league) as a whole.”