Sod-turning ceremony a chilly success

Posted: February 12, 2008

The much-anticipated sod-turning ceremony for Briercrest’s new hockey arena took place on February 8 immediately following the Future InFocus campaign’s Public Launch. Many endured the afternoon’s frigid weather and wind to witness the long-awaited dream of a new rink take its first steps to becoming a reality.

The circumference of the arena had been roped off to give the crowd a picture of its size and location, and with high spirits and red cheeks, President Dwayne Uglem, campaign chairman Dr. John Barkman, Merrill Dyck, John Sawatsky, and arena contractor Henry Janzen broke the ground.

The new arena, covering 34,800 square feet, will be located next to the high school’s PAA building with the main entrance facing the existing gymnasium. It will seat 440 spectators in the stands with an extra 50 seats behind a glass viewing wall within the lobby/concession area. There will also be standing room for nearly 100 fans surrounding the NHL-sized ice surface.

The energy-efficient building will recycle excess operational resources, be fully handicap-accessible, and have a skate sharpening service. Furthermore, much to the excitement of Caronport fans, the arena will also have heated seating areas. The outer structure will be complete by the end of April, the building and roof will be up by mid-June, and the arena should be fully operational by late December.