Timber Peak Construction spent last weekend putting the finishing touches on the nearly completed second arena in Smithers.
The new scoreboard and more handrails still needed to be installed, but Timber Peak owner Rob Trampuh and the town said substantial completion was done by the afternoon of the Dec. 1 deadline.
When the occupancy permit is issued and the ice is put in likely before the end of the week, it will be the town’s first regulation-size ice surface.
“This has been a big project. It’s a project that a huge part of the community has had a hand in making a reality, and it’s something that has been talked about and worked on for 20 years,” said mayor Taylor Bachrach.
“I know that for folks that have been with the project for that long, seeing it come to fruition must be extremely gratifying,” added Bachrach.
Five, larger dressing rooms, including one dressing room that has a separate area for teams with male and female players, and larger player bench space are a few of the new features in the 350-seat arena.
“There’s room for more seating up on the mezzanine,” said Bachrach as he and Trampuh gave The Interior News a tour of the facility on Friday.
The Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako chipped in to have rubber matting all the way around the boards for walking.
The ammonia refrigeration unit is more efficient than the current arena’s, and allows the new ice surface to function year-round.
“It brings the slab down to a temperature for making ice, but it also… goes through a heat exchange and it actually runs heat back underneath the slab, so it doesn’t cause the frost to penetrate into the ground. This we can run 12 months of the year,” explained Trampuh.
Smithers director of recreation Andrew Hillaby said all of the current arena users and some newcomers have time scheduled in the new arena.
“We’re probably 55-60 per cent full, which is a great start,” said Hillaby.
A schedule for people to plan their ice time rentals for the old and new arenas will be up on the town’s website at smithers.ca. It is updated every couple of weeks according to Hillaby.
The $4.7-million project was scheduled to be completed by the end of September before receiving two extensions, first to the end of October and again to Dec. 1. A $500 per day fine was not issued by the town.
Mayor Bachrach has said the delays have not added any costs.