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Funding boost for Maples club

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The Maples Recreation Association will be able to undertake some needed improvements to its arena thanks to a much-needed injection of funding.

The association recently received $85,610 from the federal government through the Community Infrastructure Improvement Fund.

Joy Smith, MP for Kildonan-St. Paul, appeared at the Maples Community Centre, on behalf of Minister of State and Western Economic Diversification Lynne Yelich, on Nov. 16 to make the announcement.

"Here in Winnipeg, the Maples Recreation Association is an important part not just of the Maples community, but the Winnipeg community. I’m so proud of what you do for the kids here," Smith said.

"This is a very important centre."

Rec association president Adam Tocci thanked Smith for the support, noting that thanking her is becoming "habitual."

"Not that we’re complaining," he laughed.

"(We’re) just pleased to see that we’re getting recognized for the hard work this diverse community centre is undertaking."

The funding will be used to replace the arena’s walkway as well as install heaters in the bleachers area.

The most notable renovation will be less obvious to the naked eye. The association plans to install a heat recovery system, which will keep warm air continuously circulating in the facility.

"It’ll definitely help improve the air quality and everything else that goes with that," said arena manager Eric Dearsley.

"Right now I have over 20-year-old heaters in there. They’re not very energy efficient. With the new system it’ll be major savings."

The association’s other large purchase will be a new dehumidifier, which Dearsley said will greatly aid in the ice-making process and make it less costly.

"Usually I put the ice back in in August, and to see it in August, when you can’t see the other end (of the ice)... there’s just the major consumption of energy we have to use just to produce the ice," he explained.

Dearsley said the association is hoping to begin the renovations next spring.

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