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North Saanich hockey rink getting a $1.7 million upgrade this year

Panorama Rec Centre’s Arena B will be moved to accomodate more player space

Panorama Recreation Centre is the scene of heavy construction this spring and summer as its main ice surface gets a major overhaul.

Construction began April 3 on a $1.7 million upgrade to Arena B - home ice to the Peninsula Panthers Junior B hockey team, as well as hundreds of minor hockey and lacrosse players. Work is expected to be complete by October, 2017.

The old rink was built in around 1977 and had exceeded its life expectancy.

The work includes shifting the entire rink floor further east and north. This, says Panorama’s Manager of Facilities and Operations John Goodwin, will make room for larger player benches, new penalty boxes across from their old location, and more room at the south end of the rink for the public.

The work will remove the lower row of bleachers but overall seating will not change, Goodwin said. Those seats will be moved to the top of the rows, where the walkway above the bleachers exists today.

The rink will get a new cooling system installed under the floor, allowing for added efficiencies in the arena’s operation.

As well, new boards around the rink, taller glass and more safety measures at exposed areas, means safety is being taken into account in this project. Goodwin said they are using NHL rink standards as much as possible to ensure additional safety for arena users.

He said the work will ensure the community has an ice surface that will last another 35-plus years.