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City, province help Garden City, East End arenas expand

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Winnipeg has a new plan to revamp aging ice rinks.

This afternoon, city officials will announce a joint-venture to help build new sheets of ice at East End Arena and Garden City Community Centre.

Mayor Sam Katz said the city and province will each contribute one-third of the $17 million cost to build a multi-plex facility at Garden City Community Centre on Kingsbury Avenue and one-third towards a $9 million expansion of East End Arena on Pandora Avenue East. Katz said Garden City Community Centre plans to build two brand-new sheets of ice, and East End Arena plans to add one sheet of ice to its two existing ones.

In both projects, Katz said the remaining one-third of the cost will be paid for by the community centres, which will operate the facility.

Katz said the partnerships are the result of an expression-of-interest for Winnipeg arenas.

In 2011, the city issued an expression-of-interest to see if any private businesses or non-profits want to build and operate new multiplex arenas or add sheets of ice in existing facilities.

The bulk of the city's arenas are more than 40 years old and in such rough shape they are nearing a "crisis state," according to a previous city administration report.

"They're in a bad state of repair and I think we all know that," Katz said this morning. "We've been trying to work towards a solution with our ice rinks and it looks like we finally have one."

Katz said the long-term plan is to decommission older sheets of ice once there are new ones built to replace them.

He said the city has started discussions with a few other groups regarding other arenas.

History

Updated on Thursday, February 21, 2013 at 1:03 PM CST: Garden City Community Centre is on Kingsbury Avenue.

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