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Council approves renovation work for aging ice rink

West Kelowna is looking at a big bill to fix up the decaying and aging Jim Lind arena.

Facilities supervisor Erin Goodwin told council this week $3.5 million needs to be spent on the aging ice rink at  the Mount Boucherie Recreation Complex, but only half of that needs to be spent in the next few years.

Goodwin went to council seeking approval to have most that work considered in next year’s budget, including the biggest component, the $1 million cost of replacing the concrete slab that sits under the ice surface.

That floor houses the brine pipes that help keep the ice frozen. Over the years, the existing pipes have worn out and sprung leaks, he said.

The arena, built in 1974, would cost an estimated $9 million to replace.

While the bulk of the upgrading is being put off until 2012 and beyond, two projects will be undertaken at the arena this year—replacement of eight roof trusses and creation of a handicap-accessible washroom.

Five of the building’s roof trusses were found to be cracked and three others were deemed “questionable,” according to Goodwin.

So the municipality plans to replace them during a six-week shutdown of the facility this summer. That work will cost $15,368. The washroom renovation will cost an additional $24,158.

Other work deemed to be a priority for next year includes upgrading the lighting inside and outside the building, replacing worn-out rubber flooring, and installing air conditioning in the offices of the Westside Warriors hockey team. Further work would include plumbing and painting.

Another $1.6 million in improvements were listed for council but not recommended at this time.

They included hot water tanks to replace existing boilers, upgrades to the showers and concession, seismic upgrades to the building, expanding office space for the Westside Warriors, improving the connection to Royal LePage Place, and installing an emergency power back-up.

But when quizzed about the last item by Coun. Carol Zanon, Goodwin said the arena already has emergency lighting, which is a requirement of the building code, and its ice production is controlled by the ice plant for Royal LePage Place. The emergency lighting in report additional to what is required under safety rules.

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