There are plans in place for a major upgrade to the Grunthal Arena.

Hanover Councillor Curtis Dawydiuk says that building needs a refresh, and it is time to give it a more modern look and feel.

Though the rink itself will largely remain as is, Dawydiuk says the plan is to pull off the existing lobby and build a new one. That means a brand-new seating and concession area as well as four new dressing rooms. After the project is complete, the arena should have six or seven dressing rooms, which includes re-purposing some of the existing ones. 

Dawydiuk says the project also includes upgrading some of the aging electrical systems, adding storage, and making the building more accessible. This includes addressing some of the player safety challenges that exist today in the area where the Zamboni enters the ice surface.

According to Dawydiuk, the current lobby today is 24 feet deep. The new lobby will be 100 feet deep. Though its location will not change, Dawydiuk says it will have a different layout with a better viewing area, a new location for the concessions, and improved traffic flow. 

Conceptual drawing of renovated Grunthal Arena (submitted)

The Ward Six Councillor says the estimated cost of the project is between $4 and $4.5 million. He notes they are hoping for one-third of the funding to come from the upper levels of government, one-third from the Rural Municipality of Hanover through borrowing and reserves, and then one-third through fundraising from the private sector.

Dawydiuk adds they have an aggressive timeline for the project.

"The goal is to have this under construction in 2026," he says. "So basically, two years, ready for the hockey season there in 2026."

Dawydiuk says the next step is to assemble a project committee to kickstart fundraising. 

"We are going to get this one done. We have to, we want to keep this critical infrastructural hub in our community for many years to come," he assures the community.

Dawydiuk notes it is very important to have financial support from the upper levels of government. He says construction costs are only rising and whatever shortfall there is from the provincial and federal governments, will have to be made up through fundraising. 

The arena opened its doors on March 9, 1968.