The hockey rink at the Fillmore Recreation Centre was built in 1969 and was in need of some major upgrades.
Board member Keith Kosior said that a group of local individuals realized that a major upgrade was needed on the skating side. "Without it, the rink would
have become unusable for safety reasons," Kosior explained.
He said that they began planning and fundraising approximately eight years ago. The group of local volunteers developed a three-phase plan to upgrade the rink.
"The first step was to upgrade the lighting in the skating rink. The old lighting was inefficient, and prone to ballasts and light bulbs burning out regularly. The area was just not well lit. The old lights were replaced with energy efficient LED lights that are much brighter and more durable."
The first phase cost approximately $8,000 to complete, he said.
"The second phase involved replacing the existing dasher boards, and adding plexiglass around the entire rink."
He explained that the old dasher boards were in very bad shape, and had chainlink fence behind both nets. "The condition of the wooden dasher boards, the puck board, and the fence was so poor, it was becoming dangerous to use."
Furthermore, he said that the boards had lifted over time due to frost heaving, which made it very difficult to flood the ice in the fall.
They started phase three at the same time, which Kosior said involved adding a new Zamboni room on the end of the rink.
"The existing room and ice maintenance equipment was no longer meeting our needs. The old room could not accommodate the new equipment that was needed."
Kosior explained that the initial budget for phase two and three was approximately $300,000, and nearly all of that money was raised through local fundraising and grants.
Phase two is complete, but they have yet to finish phase three, which will require more fundraising.
They are hoping to raise another $25,000 to complete the Zamboni room.