Call it a facelift, says Mayor Craig Copeland, but because there’s good bones here.
Cold Lake’s North Arena, one of the older community facilities around in the city, saw an influx of capital dollars in 2021 to breathe new life into the “blue beauty.”
Now it’s used consistently as the third rink in Cold Lake.
“A hockey arena is sort of the heartbeat of small towns, so this North Arena council decided to keep it going and invest in it,” said Mayor Craig Copeland in The Morning After.
“What we did was replace all the boards and the glass, a new refrigeration unit underneath the new cement pad of the arena. And so, a few million dollars. And what it does is it now buys you many more years, 10 to 20 years now, you can operate this North Arena,” he said.
After plans from city council to stop operating the North Arena in early 2020, user groups including Cold Lake Minor Hockey, highlighted the need for a third rink, citing that they would lose over 40 per cent of their practice ice time.
In June 2020, city council agreed to keep the North running, before setting aside roughly $3 million in the 2021 Capital Budget. That money was used to fund a new ice plant, a cooling slab, and a general modernization.
“It’s good to keep a little bit of nostalgia in your community. And so I think we’re in good shape for awhile. We’re going to look now at painting the interior and an exterior looking at the experience or exterior of the building, maybe keep the nostalgic look at it, maybe look maybe even at an original six colors. And so city staff are looking at all these options,” said Copeland.
“It’s great bones and just a little bit of minor facelift and you have a brand new arena again.”