Eckville Arena installing new ice plant

The Arena Board received grants from the Town of Eckville, Lacombe County and Province of Alberta

A contractors walks around the old artificial ice plant in the Eckville Arena before it was dismantled and towed away. (Photo Submitted)

A contractors walks around the old artificial ice plant in the Eckville Arena before it was dismantled and towed away. (Photo Submitted)

The replacement of Eckville Arena’s ice plant has been kicked into high gear thanks to a major grant from the Province of Alberta.

The provincial grant, coupled with funding from the Town of Eckville and Lacombe County, has allowed the Eckville Arena Board to replace the old ice plant with a newer model which will be more economical and environmentally friendly.

Coupled with the replacement of the artificial ice plant, is the installation of dehumidifiers in the arena.

Terry Engin, chairmen of the arena board, says the arena has had issues in the past with access moisture.

“We have had some issues with moisture for a long time, and the earlier you put the ice in, the more issues it creates,” Engin said.

“With the new plant, they kind of go hand-in-hand.”

The old ice plant used in the arena is 43 years old, and many contractors who have worked in the arena have been amazed it was worked as long as it has.

Over the course of the last 43 year, Engin says the ice plant has been repaired and rebuilt many times, though there are pieces that have never been touched.

“We have known for a long time that that was going to come to an end.We knew that we would have to replace it sooner or later,” he said.

Over the last decade or so the Eckville Arena Board has been setting aside funds to purchase a new artificial ice plant.

In that time, the board has been able to raise $106,668.34 for the purchase.

Engin says he is grateful to both the Town and the County for matching the funds raised.

The Province of Alberta provided the other half of the funds, $320,005, for a total project cost of $640,010.

“This is the biggest grant we have received from the Province… We looked at applying for a federal grant, but decided the provincial one more closely matched what we were looking for,” Engin said.

The Eckville Arena Board was notified in January their grant application had been approved, and in early March the dismantling of the old ice plant began.

Engin says the project “snuck up” on the board, as the contractor told them they were available to take out the ammonia on a Tuesday and the next day they wanted to take out the rest of the equipment.

“In about two days it went from being a full room to being practically empty,” he said.

The machinery was hauled away and will be broken down for scraps, according to Engin.

The board has given the contractors a deadline of Sept. 1 to have the new ice plant installed and operational. That is the day when the board plans to begin putting in the ice for the next hockey and skating season.

Moving forward, the board is just looking at getting back to some semblance of normal.

Engin hopes to see normal summer events, like the Bull Arena and the indoor rodeo return, even if they are later than usual.

“What we want to see, what everyone wants to see, is a return to normal, whatever that may be.

“It has been tough, but our board has done a good job, I think, of staying on top of everything. And while we were disappointed to take the ice out earlier than planned, it worked out in our favour because now we can get this work done and be ready for next year.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Alberta chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw said on Thursday that the province has seen its first case of the B.1.617 variant. (Photography by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Red Deer nears record number of active COVID-19 cases

Alberta reports 1,857 new cases of COVID-19, 1,326 new variants

File Photo
Nominations for Sylvan Lake municipal election now open

Those looking to run for mayor or council can fill out and submit nomination forms now

People line up outside an immunization clinic to get their Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine in Edmonton, Tuesday, April 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta passes bill to give all workers paid leave to get COVID-19 vaccine shot

Labour Minister Jason Copping says Bill 71 will reduce barriers for Alberta workers to get vaccinated

Alberta completed 18,412 COVID-19 tests, as reported on Wednesday, for a test positivity rate of 9.5 per cent. (NIAID-RML via AP)
Highest daily count of 2021 so far: Alberta reports 1,699 COVID-19 cases

Variants now make up 59 per cent of Alberta’s active cases

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw and Premier Jason Kenney say the province would look at adding additional COVID-19 measures in the coming weeks if the virus continues to spread. (Photo by Government of Alberta)
Walk-in COVID-19 vaccination clinic to open in Red Deer

Alberta adds 1,345 new cases of the virus

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and United States President Joe Biden smile as they say farewell following a virtual joint statement in Ottawa, Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau pledges to cut emissions by 40% to 45% by 2030, short of U.S. goal

Trudeau announced target during a virtual climate summit convened by U.S. President Joe Biden

A health care worker prepares to test a Coastal GasLink field worker for COVID-19. (Coastal GasLink photo)
Alberta bill would protect health workers, care homes from some COVID-19 lawsuits

The bill proposes exempting a range of workers, including doctors, pharmacists and care-home operators, from being sued over COVID-19 unless it was for gross negligence

Journal de Montreal is seen in Montreal, on Thursday, April 22, 2021. The daily newspaper uses a file picture of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau dressed in traditional Indian clothing during his trip to India to illustrate a story on the Indian variant of the coronavirus. Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press
Montreal newspaper blasted for front-page photo of Trudeau in India

Trudeau is wearing traditional Indian clothes and holding his hands together in prayer beside a caption that reads, ‘The Indian variant has arrived’

Education Minister Adriana LaGrange was in Red Deer on Friday to provide an update on the province's COVID-19 response in schools.
Photo by PAUL COWLEY/Advocate staff
Alberta government aiming to boost financial literacy among students

Government providing grants to organizations who will help design financial literacy programming

President Joe Biden holds a virtual bilateral meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
U.S. to help Canada with more COVID-19 vaccine supply, Biden says

The U.S. has already provided Canada with about 1.5 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine

In this image from video, former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin, center, is taken into custody as his attorney, Eric Nelson, left, looks on, after the verdicts were read at Chauvin’s trial for the 2020 death of George Floyd, Tuesday, April 20, 2021, at the Hennepin County Courthouse in Minneapolis, Minn. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Court TV via AP, Pool
George Floyd’s death was ‘wake-up call’ about systemic racism: Trudeau

Derek Chauvin was found guilty Tuesday on all three charges against him

Alberta Biobord Corp. recently hosted a virtual open house from Stettler

The company plans to develop a fuel pellet and medium density fibre board (MDF) plant near the community

Most Read