The community of New Bothwell is getting a new outdoor rink.

Travis Doerksen is the New Bothwell area Councillor for the Rural Municipality of Hanover. He says their existing rink is worn out and it is time for an upgrade. Further to that, he says they expanded their rec centre a number of years ago and right now there is only about a foot separating the building and the rink.

"There is really no room between the rec centre and the rink and there is some logistical issues there," he adds.

New rink drawingsAccording to Doerksen, demolition of the rink and asphalt surface will take place this coming off-season, likely in April. Construction of the new rink will then likely start sometime in June and take about four to six weeks to complete.

Doerksen says the existing rink is approximately 200 feet by 75 feet. The new rink should be a very similar size but will be built about 15 to 20 feet further east in order to provide more space between the rec centre and rink.

Similar to the old one, the new rink will have an asphalt surface. Doerksen says the plan is to then start using this as a multi-sport facility. He notes they would like to be able to offer a space for tennis and basketball to be played during the summer months.

"We know that we are growing and it's just exciting that we can kind of keep up with that growth and offer those services in our community," adds Doerksen.

Construction of the new rink is expected to cost approximately $250,000. Doerksen explains some of that funding will come from the COVID-19 restart money the municipality has received. They have also applied for a provincial grant and the rest of the project will likely be paid for by Hanover's discretionary and reserve funds.

The New Bothwell Councillor says their outdoor rink gets a lot of use, even though this winter has maybe had a few more days of bone-chilling temperatures than what skaters had hoped for. He notes though the community does not have an official minor hockey program, there is a rec hockey program with about 15 kids signed up.