Early ice time already paying off in Alvinston

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Watford arena may not be ready for use until October

The ice in Alvinston will be ready for skaters Aug. 23.

That’s according to the staff of Brooke-Alvinston. The municipality is working with Warwick Township to make ice time available for people who would normally use the Watford Arena. The township is in the middle of a reconstruction project there. Warwick is building a new community centre and refurbishing the arena at a cost of $11.5 million.

Warwick normally has early ice but with the arena construction, officials worked out a deal with Brooke-Alvinston to open its arena early. And it seems that deal is more important than ever.

Delays getting materials because of the world-wide pandemic is having an effect on the construction. Theresa Klachan, Warwick Township’s parks and recreation manager, recently told councillors the materials needed simply aren’t coming as quickly as usual, particularly with the reconstruction of the arena.

“Along with two roof top units for the new dressing rooms, there is also availability issues with structural steel and metal deck. Metal deck is required to complete the roof of the new dressing rooms. Without the ability to enclose the dressing rooms, the interior cannot be completed,” she wrote in a report to councillors.

“The original anticipated substantial completion of the arena renovations was mid/end August 2021 with the substantial completion of the community complex following in April 2022,” Klachan says. “Due to delays on materials the general contractor has updated substantial completion of the arena renovations to Sept. 30 with a possibility of going into October.”

Klachan admits that has some people in the community nervous. “People are looking outside and getting a little stressed there will be no hockey season,” she says. But

Klachan assured council the arena renovations are the top priority.
In the meantime, a deal has been reached with Brooke-Alvinston to provide ice time for Warwick’s users.

Normally, the township waits for the fair to be complete, but the Brooke-Alvinston Agricultural Society agreed to put the ice in early this year since COVID-19 restrictions meant a scaled back fair this year. The society had suggested the ag society would not want hockey games in the arena during the fair weekend, adding it might consider having a free skate with the fair.

But Mayor Dave Ferguson says there is some consideration going on to hold the Alvinston Killer Bees first game on that weekend, with the municipality sponsoring the event in conjuction with the fair.

Meantime, the early ice is already attracting attention. Officials say two hockey camps have already booked 37 hours of ice-time in August.