Notre Dame Arena board waiting for ice plant, expecting frigid spring

The ice plant cometh.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 10/12/2018 (1641 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

The ice plant cometh.

Five months after the ice-making machinery at Notre Dame Arena imploded, melting the jam-packed hockey and recreational skating schedules that begin in September, work has begun to rectify the situation.

Notre Dame Recreational Centre is closed due to a broken cooling system, Monday.
JOHN WOODS / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Notre Dame Recreational Centre is closed due to a broken cooling system, Monday.

Raymond Comeault, president of the volunteer Notre Dame Recreational Centre board, said a new plant has been ordered and the 34-year-old facility will likely have ice available for the very tail end of the season on March 1.

“They’ve started work already,” Comeault said Monday.

The recreational centre laid off 20 seasonal and part-time staff in mid-August when its plant broke down and could not be repaired.

The community-run board didn’t know how long the arena at 271 Ave de la Cathedrale would be shuttered, or if it would ever reopen.

Initial estimates for a new ice plant had been pegged at $1.2 million.

Comeault said the community group received six bids on a new ice plant and the price from the winning contractor was $430,700 for an ice plant. The total project budget, including contingency coverage, has been set at $500,000.

Arena ice rentals generated about $300,000 income for the recreational centre board but Comeault said it’s still too early to say how much the board will lose 2018-19.

The unexpected shutdown of the arena sent local minor hockey teams scrambling to find ice for the season.

While the bulk of the minor hockey season will be over by March 1, Comeault said the goal is to offer the arena to teams needing practice ice as they gear up for their playoff runs, adding that will demonstrate to the community the facility is still viable and lead to renewed bookings for next year.

“The board’s feeling is if we can have it up and running and ice available for team practice, that would be good,” Comeault said. “It would be nice to have it up and running for a month or a month-and-a-half so everyone can see the plant is in, it’s functioning, there is ice at Notre Dame and we can re-attract all the teams that we lost this year.”

The community group had set aside $300,000 in reserve for a new ice plant and city hall is contributing another $125,000 with grant funding through the area Riel community committee.


Updated on Monday, December 10, 2018 6:51 PM CST: Adds photo

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