Cold Lake is gearing up for hockey season as the expansion to the Energy Centre is complete.
The new arena at the Cold Lake Energy Centre is scheduled to start developing ice next week, with an official facility opening in the near future, said a press release Thursday.
“We’re planning a community open house for the public to come out and see how things look in there,” said Mayor Craig Copeland. “I think the community is going to be very impressed with the expansion and the new amenities. There’s a lot of much-needed space being provided, and the new rink will get a lot of use.”
The Energy Centre expansion includes a second arena, 360-degree climbing wall, a lounge, office and storage space for local non-profit groups, a larger concourse area, and a mini-stick arena.
The lounge is said to feature a catering kitchen and a bar, and overlooks both the new arena and Imperial Oil Place Arena, with the option to open the windows to accommodate private booths for concerts in Imperial Oil Place.
The second floor concourse is expanded to allow for access to the new arena, as well as an upper viewing area for the climbing wall. The concourse on the east end of the new arena will also feature a mini-stick arena.
The Imperial Oil Place Arena, which seats just under 400 people, is already open, giving people a taste of drop-in shinny and public skating last weekend; amongst the various hockey training camps being offered. The drop-in schedules will continue to be posted on the city’s social media from week to week.
The new expansion is in time for the expansion Cold Lake Wings Junior A hockey club’s first season.
In addition to the Energy Centre locations, the North Arena will be open for the season under limited hours and a commitment with Cold Lake Minor Hockey.
“There were some concerns over ice time, so council agreed to keep the North Arena open for a limited schedule this year,” said Copeland. “Keeping it running comes with some complications though, as the building and equipment is aging.”
The city will be renting a temporary ice plant machine for the North Arena, as the current piece of equipment is beyond its life expectancy and is no longer reliable. This will give the city a chance to review how much each rink is used before to making any final decisions on facility needs and on more long-term improvements.
The North Arena is scheduled to be open by mid-September.
More information on public ice times and the community open house will be announced through the city’s social media and on www.coldlake.com.