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City completes arena upgrades

$335,000 of improvements completed by the city
The Jim Ciccone hockey arena received numerous upgrades over the summer including new lights and an insulated roof. (Matthew Allen / The Northern View)

Following months of work, the city of Prince Rupert has completed a number of upgrades to the Jim Ciccone Civic Centre’s ice arena, including work done to revamp its washrooms, ceiling, lights and change rooms.

Ron German, maintenance coordinator with the city, said the washrooms are now set up for accessibility.

“The building was built in 1971 so the stalls and sinks were not accessible,” he said. “So now they are completely re-done and accessible for everybody to use.”

In addition to the new washrooms, four showers in the arena’s change rooms have also been upgraded. German said the city will also see increased energy savings from a new low-emission ceiling that will allow less heat to escape the building and LED lights that are extremely efficient.

“The old lights would put off a lot of heat, and as everyone can see, the light is ten times what it used to be,” he said. “People are walking in saying it’s like a new arena so that’s probably the biggest change that everyone is going to notice.”

Finally, a new, arena-grade dehumidifier has been installed which has kept in-arena condensation down at acceptable levels.

“It’s been a huge improvement for ice conditions and putting ice in,” German said. “And it will all come out to huge energy savings.”

Veronika Stewart, communications manager for the city of Prince Rupert, said the $335,000 required for the upgrades were approved by city council for recreation capital improvements. $173,000 went to improve the arena washrooms and showers, approximately $60,000 for the low-emission ceilings, $61,000 went to LED lighting and approximately $35,000 for the new dehumidifier.

“The city is very pleased to offer these improvements to all of our local ice users which not only improve their experience at the arena, but also the environmental footprint of our public recreation facilities,” she said.