The Green Rink at Pearkes Recreation Centre would remain open during future renovations of the centre’s Gold Arena, but it is not clear when that work will start. (Black Press File).

Saanich says it’s too early to talk potential disruptions during arena improvements

Pearkes’ Gold Arena to undergo renovations after Saanich submits grant application

Saanich is playing the waiting game after council approved a grant application to improve parts of Pearkes Recreation Centre, including one of four hockey rinks in the district.

The application for $7.26 million dollars from a joint federal-provincial program would help fund 73 per cent of proposed improvements to the centre. Saanich plans to spend $2.65 million.

If authorities approve the grant, Saanich would not only be able to replace the ice slab and snow pit of Gold Arena – the name of the the original rink that opened in 1968 – it could also improve other parts of the centre, which isn’t in the current budget, said Graham Thomson, centre manager.

Saanich would have the opportunity to rehabilitate and improve the centre sooner than proposed in the facilities master plan, said Thomson.

RELATED: Third rink needed immediately at Pearkes, say users

RELATED: Family front and centre at Pearkes Arena anniversary celebrations

RELATED: Report finds several recreation facilities in Saanich at their limit

The facilities report identifies Pearkes Recreation Centre as a medium priority. Service delivery appears “manageable” over next four to seven years under this status. “Capacity issues may be critical requiring attention within [eight to] 15 years,” it reads.

Thomson said Saanich would also get more for its buck if funding authorities approved the grant. “The funding would allow for more improvements to the centre with nearly the same amount it would cost to replace the slab and the snow pit,” he said.

Should Saanich not receive the grant money, it would replace only the ice slab and snow pit of Gold Arena.

Kelli-Ann Armstrong, Saanich’s senior manager of recreation, said it is an “anomaly” for the rink to have operated for 50-plus years.

“This longevity cannot be counted as the norm, or as best practices,” she said.

Thomson said it is too early to discuss potential disruptions because Saanich currently lacks a construction schedule. “Even with grant funding, which would give us the opportunity for a planned closure, the earliest we would proceed with construction would be spring [or] summer 2020,” he said.

He said staff will work with regional partners on mitigation plans in advance of construction and engage with users to minimize the impact, adding Pearkes’ Green Arena would remain open during construction.

Plans for a third rink at Pearkes, however, remain unrealized, and at least one Saanich Minor Hockey Association (SMHA) officials has already raised concerns about the potential effects of closing down Gold Arena.

“Without an alternative rink, when the Gold rink goes down, the association goes down,” said SMHA president David Horricks 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.”


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

wolfgang.depner@saanichnews.com

Just Posted

VIDEO: ‘Stewie the Starfish’ mascot revealed at Premier League kickoff party

Pacific FC kickoff party scores in Victoria Inner Harbour

Victoria cannabis dispensaries are busy in their first days of legal operation

The Cloud Nine Collective and The Original FARM opened their doors on April 15

Report calls on Saanich to expand multicultural programming at recreation facilities

Report also notes that Saanich could do more for sexual minorities.

Big Brothers Big Sisters’ Bowl for Kids’ Sake returns to Langford

Annual fundraising event held from April 26 to 28

WATCH: Movie star and PACE alum Calum Worthy talks musical theatre and his career

“American Vandal” and “Austin and Ally” actor has been returning to the program for over 20 years

POLL: How often does your family use BC Ferries?

Navigating the lineups for BC Ferries is a way of life for… Continue reading

Crime Stoppers most wanted for Greater Victoria for the week of April 16

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Deck collapses in Langley during celebration, 35 people injured

Emergency responders rushed to the Langley home

B.C. mom wages battle to get back four kids taken from her in Egypt

Sara Lessing of Mission has help from Abbotsford law firm

VIDEO: Fire guts Peachland home

Crews are still on scene pumping water onto the blaze in the Okanagan neighbourhood

$6K raised in one day’s time for family of woman gunned down in Penticton

GoFundMe launched for family of Darlene Knippelberg, to pay for funeral costs and other expenses

B.C. mountain biker sent home from hospital twice, despite broken vertebrae

Released in Maple Ridge to go home with three fractured vertebrae

Seven tips to travel safely this Easter long weekend

An average of three people are killed, and hundreds more injured, each Easter long weekend in B.C.

Most Read