An aging hockey rink in the North Okanagan will soon undergo much-needed upgrades and renovations.
The Pat Duke Memorial Arena in Lumby first opened its doors 52 years ago, in 1967. The rink is a popular spot in the small community, with a variety of groups using the rink’s facilities. Countless hockey games have been played there.
The arena, though, is showing signs of its age, with the Regional District of the North Okanagan (RDNO) stating that the needs of facility users are not being met.
In early 2020, the rink will undergo a $3-million expansion project.
“Due to an insufficient number of change rooms, female ice users have had to use inadequate facilities during co-ed play,” the RDNO said in a press release this month.
“The arena also poses challenges for users with mobility issues and does not meet today’s standards for accessibility.”
The RDNO said construction permits will be issued for procurement by Feb. 1. The work will be done in phases and the arena will not be accessible to the public during the “dry floor season” of March to September.
The RDNO said earlier challenges regarding structural reinforcement have been resolved and that the project is officially in the detailed design phase.
According to the RDNO, four new change rooms will be built, along with modest improvements to existing change rooms, and upgrades to make the rink more operationally effective, safe and energy-efficient.
The upgrades were sparked by Lumby’s 2016 Kraft Hockeyville win, which came with a $100,000 top prize for arena improvements.
The win led to Lumby and the regional district landing an additional $2.9 million in funding.
“The funding for this project has enabled a significant renovation and expansion to this cherished community arena,” said the RDNO, “allowing it to continue to serve the North Okanagan well into the future.”