The Tom Forsyth Memorial Arena in Burns Lake is set to open in September this year with the ice going in by the end of August.
Sheryl Worthing, the Village of Burns Lake CAO told Lakes District News that the arena is scheduled to reopen on Sept. 14 this year. She however informed that with Covid, the arena will look different than what people are used to.
Worthing said that the village would be following restart guidelines from BC Recreation and Parks Association, ViaSport, and BC Hockey.
“More time for cleaning, increased signage, reduced occupancy limits, directional traffic flow, and agreements with user groups will all be utilized to ensure safe arena operation,” she said.
The village and the Burns Lake recreation department doesn’t however have any directives on whether or not there would be any matches this year.
“That will be up to the individual clubs. For example Burns Lake Minor Hockey Association will determine if they will be holding league games and tournaments,” said Worthing.
The curling rink will also be open for public this year as it is generally ready one month after the arena ice is ready according to Worthing. The village will start the curling rink stairs reconstruction that will last for three weeks, on Aug. 17. Improvements to the multiplex roof are also 95 per cent complete.
A protective roof system is being constructed on top of the existing roof. This the new system is a clad metal roofing that matches the rest of the roof while reinforcing the roof to be able to withstand sliding snow and ice. This cost the village a total of $7,000.
“We have had an ongoing issue with snow and ice build up over the gym area which is causing the roof to leak,” said Worthing, pointing to the necessity and urgency of these repairs.
Several other activities at the recreation centre that have been closed ever since the Covid-related measures were put in place, would also be soon opening up. Activities like badminton, wall climbing, squash or racquetball have been closed due to the pandemic. The fitness centre and the kayak and canoe rentals opened up earlier this summer but other activities remained closed. The village plans to have these activities opened up for public starting Sept. 1.