Curling rink to close in April 2014 due to age, structural issues

After all the excitement of the multiplex plans hitting the news, there is one building that has not been mentioned.

Dear Editor,

After all the excitement of the multiplex plans hitting the news, there is one building that has not been mentioned. The town-owned Sylvan Lake Curling Rink ice surface is being condemned as of April 2014 due to structural instability. The curlers have already been locked out of the building twice in one month due to the amount of snow on the roof.

The curling club has left a legacy of four parcels of land to the community of Sylvan Lake. The site for the new town office, the site for the town swimming pool, the site of Lions Park Ñ  in cooperation with The Knights of Pythias, the Lions and Rotary Ñ and of course the site where the present curling club stands.

The present facility was used as a community hall until the present community centre was built. In the earlier years this association also provided a skating rink and tennis courts. It is amazing how much this association has contributed to the town. If you would like more information on the history of the curling club, just contact the club and it will be provided for you, as it is too long to mention here.

The town had offered curlers a chance to go into the new multiplex with the reduction from five sheets to three or four. You can’t have a bonspiel on three sheets of ice and four is tough. I wonder if any of the other sports were asked to go smaller.

What the town is offering us now is $1.5 million to build a new ice surface and to renovate the lounge and viewing area of the present building. This doesn’t even cover the cost of the ice surface. This is a 60 year old building that is older than the first ice surface for hockey. I extend the invitation for councillors, mayor and anyone who wants to see what is happening inside this building to go down and talk to the manager to see what the problems are with this facility.

I have curled in this facility for 27 year. I have watched new facilities being built for many different sports and associations in this town. Curling is one of the few sports, if not the only sport, to not have a building replaced and a new facility that we can show off and be proud of. I have had people tell me they won’t curl in our building because it is too old. I also had people tell me they wouldn’t move to Sylvan Lake because of the rec. facilities including the old curling rink.

This facility is open all year round to host other sports and events. We have  hosted the 2009 Alberta Scotties, 2011 Investor Cup Mixed, and the 2013 Optimists Alberta Juvenile playdowns. The curling club is a few days away from hosting the Jiffy Lube 2014 Alberta Scotties from January 8-12. We are bringing major curling events and exposure to the Town of Sylvan Lake, as some of these events are televised. This association is economically supporting the community by bringing in out of town customers, just like hockey or any other sport or event that happens in this town.

Congratulations to all sports and associations in Sylvan who are enjoying your town built facilities. I would like to know if any of the associations or sports have contributed any funds to their building. If you would like to share this with me please e-mail mjohan@xplornet.com. As of April 2014, curlers in Sylvan Lake will no longer have an ice surface on which to curl on, to enjoy their favourite sport.

These are my opinions, they are no way associated with the other curlers or the rink.

Lorie Johanson,

Longtime curler,

Sylvan Lake

 

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