A number of local groups are joining forces to fill one of the City of Estevan’s biggest recreational needs.
The Estevan Kinsmen and Kinettes Clubs, the Estevan Bruins Hockey Club and City of Estevan are partnering to raise funds and construct a permanent outdoor arena in the city.
The new facility, which will be located at the Kin Playpark in the Hillside subdivision, will provide residents with an outdoor arena that will be used for hockey and skating in the winter, and sports such as ball hockey, basketball and lacrosse in the spring and summer.
A committee comprised of members from all four organizations has been formed. Estevan City Councillor Chris Istace will serve as the chairman of the committee, which will guide the project from the fundraising stage through to construction.
“We are looking forward to creating this facility for the residents of Estevan,” Istace said. “In looking at areas where the city was lacking recreation-wise, one of the most glaring voids was a permanent outdoor arena that can be used for a variety of events throughout the year.
“A number of Saskatchewan communities similar in size to Estevan have permanent outdoor arenas that are very well used and give youth an excellent venue for recreation.”
Istace cited Swift Current as an example of a community that has a nice, large outdoor rink that is used year-round. Weyburn also has a large, permanent, outdoor structure.
Although plans are still being developed, the committee is looking to build a cement pad that would house a regulation-sized ice surface with permanent boards and, should funds allow, glass. The preliminary plan also calls for a new warm-up and skate tying building.
Istace estimates the total cost of the project at $300,000.
“Following the principle that guided the construction of Spectra Place, we want to do this once and do it right,” said Istace.
The committee has a lead on boards from what Istace called a WHL/SJHL-calibre facility. Acquiring those boards represent a significant cost-savings.
The Bruins have committed to raise a minimum of $40,000 for the project, with the funds coming through a jersey auction that will be similar to the one held last season for local day cares, which raised over $30,000.
The Kinsmen and Kinettes have committed to purchase the jerseys for the auction and will throw their full support behind the fundraising efforts. The City of Estevan has begun researching what type of grants may be available.
“We feel this arena will benefit the entire community and we ask that the public throw their support behind this worthwhile venture,” Istace said.
The committee has targeted July 1, 2013 as the date for the official sod turning ceremony. They hope the venue will be ready in the fall of 2013.