The local Councillor for New Bothwell says construction is progressing well at the site of their outdoor rink.

Travis Doerksen explains a crew is there constructing a cover to sit over top of that rink. The post and beam structure runs 210 feet long by 90 feet wide. Once complete, the north and south ends will be completely closed in, while the east and west walls will be closed the first eight feet from the ceiling. The remainder of the walls are open for their outdoor rink. 

"Pretty large project for our community," says Doerksen. "It's just very, very noticeable."

According to Doerksen, the scope of the project has changed from what was first proposed. He notes initially they were looking at a smaller shell. However, Doerksen says that design created some engineering challenges, which were eliminated by simply going bigger. 

The shell really started to take shape on Wednesday once the crew began putting rafters in place. Doerksen says by four o'clock that afternoon they had all the rafters up and braced. The crew can now install the tin.

"We're humming along here, so we really hope that the weather holds out and the construction crews can have another couple of weeks of nice weather," says Doerksen. "We've had a few delays as most building projects have had, but all and all it's come together here before the cold weather."

Doerksen says the contractor has said that if everything goes according to plan, they should have things wrapped up in three to four weeks. 

He notes this is a big deal for the community, suggesting everybody benefits. Doerksen says having a covered space like this will be a huge benefit for their festivals but can also help with weddings, socials or other events requiring an area to accommodate large groups of people. Not only that, but Doerksen says this should put an end to any weather delays impacting their outdoor rink. In addition, he says they are considering ways of utilizing that space in summer, such as adding tennis, pickleball or basketball courts. 

Meanwhile, Doerksen says he is not entirely sure what the final cost will be for this project. He notes initially, they were estimating about $450,000, but since then, they have incurred additional costs for engineering and materials. He suggests they are probably looking in the range of $500,000 by the time everything is said and done. Doerksen says they have received generous donations in addition to a $400,000 grant from the province, which made this project possible. 

"We would have never, ever been able to do this without that provincial grant," says Doerksen. "So, we're really thankful for that and the community business owners and surrounding business owners have really stepped up to help us out here. So, we're really, really grateful."


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