The new addition at the Hope Arena officially opened on Saturday.
Construction of the new $1.6-million building began this spring after a decade of planning to address the aging and relatively poor conditions of the existing dressing rooms. The new 8,140-square-foot facility offers three dressing rooms with showers and bathrooms, and a multi-purpose room on the upper floor. Two old change rooms in the arena have also been renovated and converted into one large dressing room.
“The rec centre is kind of the centre piece of the community. We just want to make the best use of what we have and would like to attract more business to Hope,” said project supervisor Milly Marshall, who also manages local recreation and cultural services.
“This new building will allow for future plans and growth. People were turned off by our dressing rooms in the past. So we hope this will attract people that will want to play sports here.”
While the new change rooms are expected to enhance the use of the arena with separate outdoor entrances, the 4,070-square-foot multi-purpose room with mountain views will cater to recreation programs, private business meetings and special events.
The arena expansion is part of a larger enhancement project for the 37-year-old building. In 2009, the roof was replaced with the help of a $375,000 grant from the province after it began leaking onto the ice surface.
The new building is funded by the District of Hope and Fraser Valley Regional District Area B, with an additional $148,000 in provincial funding.