Ice arena progressing

The Hazelton Ice Arena is still making progress and they recently launched a website which they are hoping will get more people involved in the process.

The Hazelton Ice Arena is still making progress and they recently launched a website which they are hoping will get more people involved in the process.

The Skeena Ice Arena Association’s Building Committee member Tom Madden said they have also recently made a lot of progress on the type of building they are looking at.

“I think we noted a couple of things that are important at our last open house and one is the type of building we are looking at,” he explained. “Wood is favoured by many people as the forest industry had been a big part of the area. However, the steel industry has been building arenas for years so we are keeping the doors open to all the options out there so we can get the best kind of building for the community at the right price and we are narrowing it down.”

The committee also issued a press release last week that said they have been working with a major company in B.C. that builds large-span wood beams and arches for the purpose of structures such as the proposed arena. They stated that a grant is being sought through the Wood Enterprise Coalition Commercialization Fund that would help pay for a design using this type of cross laminated timber. Yet they are also keeping their other options open and are exploring the possibility of a steel structure still with an Alberta firm that recently made presentations to the Smithers Town Council and the Building Committee in Hazelton.

While things were put on hold over the holidays, they are back in full swing now he added.

“We also have a mechanical study that is going to be completed in a couple of weeks after a few delays during the holidays,” he said. “Once we get that we will have a really good idea of the mechanical end so we can make it as green a project and as energy efficient as possible.”

As for the website, Madden and the other committee members hope people will use it in a variety of ways.

“Communication was a big part of the business plan work so that the community is kept informed and we can get feedback,” he said. “There is a survey on there which we hope people will use and we want to make sure the community is looking at our website and keeping up to date. We want to get hundreds of people in the area on the website.”

Madden also explained they have a contest on the website as well to inspire more people to get involved. The contest is for a chance to win two tickets to see Sarah McLachlan in Prince George, one nights stay at the Treasure Cove Hotel and $100 towards gas.

Interestingly, Madden also feels that the election of a new Premier will play a role in the future of the arena.

“I think we are all keeping some interest in who the new Premier will be and what opportunities that might bring in terms of working with the province,” he shared. “Until that time, some of the discussions are on the back burner and we want to keep it in the forefront with all the candidates. We think we have a really good plan for a product and we obviously have a real need.”

To learn more visit the new website at www.heartofthehazeltons.com.