The Town of Smithers officially broke ground on the new arena July 16.

New arena breaks ground

Town of Smithers councillors and officials, contractors and members of the public gathered to break ground for the new arena.

Construction has now started on Smithers’ second sheet of ice.

On July 16, Town of Smithers councillors and officials, contractors and members of the public gathered to break ground for the project that has been in the works for more than 20 years.

“As Counc. Adomeit says, this is officially the end of if and the beginning of how,” Smithers Mayor Taylor Bachrach said.

The first step in the building process is to pre-load the site, said Rob Trampuh, owner of Timber Peak Construction, one of the local contractors on the project. This prep work will take between one and six months, he said.

But what the finished project will look like is not yet set in stone. Of the $4.7 million budget, $400,000 must still be raised by the community.

Despite this formidable hurdle, Bachrach said he was confident the project would be finished on time and on budget.

“One thing the past has shown us, when you look at the past of Smithers, is when the community gets behind a project there’s no stopping it,” he said.

“We’ve achieved some incredible things in our 100 years of history and I’m absolutely confident the community’s going to get behind this project and we’re going to pull it off in great form.”

The arena is being designed and constructed by C & M Development Inc. from Nanaimo, with the assistance of a number of local contractors, which is another reason Bachrach said he has faith in the project.

“One of the things that gives council the confidence to pull off this project is the fact so many people have skin in the game and we’re going to be harnessing so much of the talent of this community,” he said.

Councillor Mark Bandstra, who sits on the advisory committee working with the builder to keep the arena on budget, said the finished project will be exactly what they were looking for — a second sheet of ice.

“It’s not going to be overdone,” he said.

“It’s not a Taj Mahal. It will be a very good functioning other sheet of ice for our residents.”

Outside of the health benefits of having more people being able to access a skating arena, Bandstra said the town could also reap huge economic gains once the facility is operational.

“[The new arena] is important for our community, economically,” he said.

“We need drivers to bring people to our community.”

Until the structure starts going up, the advisory committee will be working closely with the builder and architect to bring the drawings to completion, Bandstra said.

“We need to make sure we have a functioning arena at the end of this,” he said.

“But it has to be on budget.”


Just Posted

Golf season in Smithers is underway

A first look at the golf course on opening day

Second dump site of Dungeness crab discovered

DFO confident new site related to April 2 dump of 250 more crab

Town council votes to reclassify LB Warner lot for residential use

Smithers just got one step closer to more affordable housing, but there are still many to go

SD54 approves first two readings of 2019-2020 budget draft

SD54 approved the first two readings of a drafted 2019-2020 budget on Tuesday night.

Nisga’a leader named UNBC chancellor

Dr. Joseph Arthur Gosnell is the first Indigenous leader to assume the role

VIDEO: Killer whales hunt for seals in Vancouver harbour

Bigg’s killer whales feed on marine mammals like seals, sea lions, dolphins and even other whales

VIDEO: B.C.’s waving granny gets incredible send-off from school kids

Tinney Davidson has been waving at students on their way to school for over 11 years, but is moving in a month

Struggling B.C. adoption agency elects new board that intends to keep it open

The previous board announced that Choices would close May 31

Vancouver man, 19, charged in human trafficking case involving teen girl

The 16-year-old girl was reported missing and later discovered in Vancouver

Blaine, Wash. inn owner, charged with smuggling people into B.C., granted bail

Robert Joseph Boule ordered to turn away anyone indicating a plan to enter Canada illegally

RCMP arrest B.C. man following threatening Vaisakhi Facebook post

Post made reference to pressure cooker bomb at massive Surrey parade

Northern B.C. high school student reaches 100,000 followers on YouTube

Voice actor, animator, Jericho Fortune has more than 30-million views on his channel GTAGAMER222

University mourns student who died in B.C. canoeing accident

Andrew Milner, 19, was in his second year with the University of Calgary’s basketball program

Most Read