Saanich has applied for funding from senior levels of government to help improve Gold Arena in Saanich’s Pearkes Recreation Centre (Black Press File).

Saanich looks for financial assist to improve hockey arena

First round of upgrades to Gold Arena at Pearkes Recreation Centre top $9 million

Saanich is asking the federal and provincial governments to help pay for improvements to Pearkes Recreation Centre.

Pending council approval, Saanich is applying to the Community, Culture, and Recreation (CCR) Program, a joint federal/provincial initiative, to help fund the first phase of proposed improvements to Gold Arena, the name of the original rink that opened in October 1968. The rink – which accounts for about one-third of the entire complex – has been showing its age for some time.

RELATED: Family front and centre at Pearkes Arena anniversary celebrations

According to staff documents, the requested grant will cover 73 per cent of the total cost, with Saanich covering the remaining 27 per cent – or $2.65 million – of the remaining project. The total value of the first phase is $9.81 million.

Pearkes manager Graham Thomson said the project addresses, among other concerns, the immediate need to replace the slab of Pearkes’ Gold Arena. He said it will ensure the long term viability of the arena’s operation.

“We should find out by summer 2019 if our grant application is approved,” he said. “If successful in our funding request, we are committed to working with our user groups and regional partners to minimize the impact on their offerings.”

Other improvements would include improvements to the facility’s accessibility features including a new elevator, ramp to the field house, dressing rooms and access to the Gold Arena ice surface and energy efficiency improvements including heat recovery from the ice plant for other parts.

The funding, if approved, would not add a third rink to the facility.

RELATED: Third rink needed immediately at Pearkes, say users

The second phase of the proposed improvements would include a full seismic upgrade to the Gold Arena.

Saanich’s share for the first phase of the project would come from the facilities major repair and replacement reserve fund, which had a balance of almost $8.3 million on Dec. 31, 2017. It was set to reach more than $11.7 million by the end of 2018, according to a staff report.

RELATED: Minor hockey gets behind Spectrum rink proposal

The funding request exists independently of efforts by Spectrum Community School to add a rink, but nonetheless relates to it. If Saanich were to improve Gold Arena, it would leave the community with one public, Saanich-owned rink – a threatening scenario for Saanich Minor Hockey Association said its president, David Horricks.

“Without an alternative rink, when the Gold rink goes down, the association goes down,” Horricks said earlier. “We have to get that message to the council. Saanich Minor Hockey would close, you can’t run it with one rink, it’s impossible. You need a certain threshold of kids in order to populate all the age groups.”

Accordingly, the association has been backing plans for a new rink at Spectrum, but not at the expense of another rink at Pearkes.

“The need for another rink at Pearkes remains our No. 1 concern,” he said. “If two more rinks were built they would both be full immediately.”


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

wolfgang.depner@saanichnews.com

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Organizer, Victoria councillor, VicPD talk about upcoming rally for Black lives

‘It’s a simple ask’: Peace rally for Black lives organizer asks people to listen

George Floyd mural appears on Victoria street

Victoria artist Paul Archer painted the mural outside his shop on Fort Street

PHOTOS: Dozens show up to rebuild vandalized Victoria people-less protest

Chalk messages of support surround the fountain in Centennial Square

Parkland grads mark end to high school in virtual ceremony

North Saanich grads pre-tape graduation ceremony days before school officially reopened

Vancouver Island’s current COVID-19 case count officially hits zero

Of the 130 recorded Island Health cases, five people have died, 125 recovered

‘I’m pissed, I’m outraged’: Federal minister calls out police violence against Indigenous people

Indigenous Minister Marc Miller spoke on recent incidents, including fatal shooting of a B.C. woman

Kelowna Mountie who punched suspect identified, condemned by sister

‘How did he get away with this? How is this justifiable?’

PHOTOS: Anti-racism protesters gather in communities across B.C.

More protests are expected through the weekend

POLL: Are you sending your children back to school this month?

Classrooms looked decidedly different when students headed back to school for the… Continue reading

Pair accused of ‘horrific’ assault at Vancouver’s Oppenheimer Park at large

Police say Jason Tapp, 30, and Nicole Edwards, 33, did not show up to meet their bail supervisor this week

No charges to be laid against 22 northern B.C. pipeline protesters

Twenty-two people were arrested in February, but Crown has decided not to pursue charges

Plan in place for BC Ferries to start increasing service levels

Ferry corporation reaches temporary service level agreement with province

B.C. starts to see employment return under COVID-19 rules

Jobless rate for young people still over 20% in May

Most Read