A southeastern Manitoba community is excited about the recent news that they will be receiving additional funding to help with their arena upgrades.
RM of De Salaberry Reeve received notification in the middle of March that they had been approved for a $700,000 grant through the Arts, Culture, and Recreation Capital Fund, money that will be used toward phase 2 of their St. Malo arena upgrades.
Darrel Cure says, “It's amazing. It's really going to help us out a lot. Our arena is an old building and we've been working on it. We have a plan to restructure the facility, so it can be multi-use. We've completed phase one. This money will allow us to go to phase two. So that we can keep working on the beautification of that building.”
Work on the first phase of the arena was completed in 2022 and included replacing the ice plant and adding dehumidifiers. Phase 2 will include renovations like replacing the sideboards, revamping the front entrance and foyer, and possibly moving the tractor room.
Cure says once all the upgrades are complete, they hope to have a multi-use facility that will serve the community and surrounding area for generations to come.
“Right now, the area is used simply for the winter season. We would love to see this building being used year-round. We're going to have to think outside the box. We've already been doing the farmer's market inside. So, we've already started getting people in there during the summer, but we want to make this so it can be used year-round and make this place a very viable place to be.”
Cure says they hope they can start on phase two as soon as this hockey season is over. He says their administration has been working on the designs for the different projects at the St. Malo arena for quite a while now.
“So, when the money comes in, they’ll be able to deploy the resources and put them to work immediately.” And adds, “This is great! Like I said, we needed it. The arena is an old building. It needed a remodeling and here we are. We're making it happen.”