The District of New Hazelton has announced a date for the official opening of the new Upper Skeena Recreation Centre.
The state-of-the-art building, which features an NHL-sized rink with heated seating for 500 spectators, a multipurpose gym, fitness centre, meeting rooms and kitchen will be opened Sept. 14.
The facility had been slated for service in the spring, but construction delays and funding issues set the date back.
In April, Doug Donaldson, minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development and MLA for Stikine, announced an additional $500,000 to finish the gymnasium floor and purchase fitness equipment
Donaldson, whose hometown is Hazelton and who was serving on village council when the now-$20 million centre was first conceived more than 10 years ago, was personally excited at the time.
“It’s exciting because it’s much more than simply an ice arena or recreation centre, it’s a place where people come to gather and build the relationships that are necessary for when we encounter more challenging times within our community. So, the health and the social benefits are just through the roof and it’s something that people in this area have been really working hard towards. An unbelievable amount of time and energy has been put into it, so really looking forward to the official grand opening.”
The announcement of the grand opening date promised, “dignitaries, tour the building, basketball scrimmage and more.”