Recycled tires used to build better rec centre

A grant from Tire Stewardship B.C. helped Panorama Recreation Centre improve their arena concourse earlier this year

Mike Hennessy from Tire Stewardship B.C. addresses the crowd during a grant announcement at Panorama Recreation Centre on Tuesday

A grant from Tire Stewardship B.C. (TSBC) helped Panorama Recreation Centre improve their arena concourse earlier this year.

Every year, TSBC gives out grants to not-for-profit organizations within the province including municipalities, registered non-profit community groups or organizations, schools and First Nations and Métis communities.

This year Panorama Recreation Centre was the recipient of a grant from TSBC to the tune of $28,000 which was bolstered by money from the recreation centre’s equipment replacement fund for a total of $75,000.

The money was used to purchase and install new flooring for the concourse between arenas A and B.

“Our project began at the end of June and was completed at the start of the ice install for arena A,” said Ron Rieberger, the manager of facilities and operations at Panorama, adding that safety was a primary reason for the upgrade.

“Corners were failing and lifting in many areas which was creating tripping hazards for people using the facility.

“It has been a great experience working with TSBC and our staff to complete this project.” he said.

The new flooring is made in B.C. from scrap tires collected around the province by TSBC.

“It’s very special to be a part of program like this because it’s not very common to see a deposit program like the one on tires actually giving back to the communities and people who pay into it,” said Mike Hennessy from TSBC, during a ceremony on Dec. 3.

“This type of project is meant to enhance the community experience for all residents and by securing the use of B.C. recycled rubber in these projects we’re providing employment and economic benefits right here at home.”

The key qualifiers for the grant were that the project site must be fully accessible by all members of the public and that the grant recipients match the TSBC’s contribution of up to $30,000, which Panorama did.

More and more community facilities are using recycled rubber products because they are safe, wheelchair friendly, low maintenance and good for all weather use, added Hennessy.

Other eligible projects have included playgrounds, all weather sports fields and running tracks.