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To Refurbish or To Rebuild

A principle agreement was made to replace the Civic Centre Arena on Nellis St with a new pad arena at Cowan Fields. Woodstock City council discussed with staff about the facility during last Thursday's meeting, encouraging them to begin a plan for a new arena.

WOODSTOCK - Woodstock City council has agreed in principle to look at replacing the Civic Centre Arena with a new pad arena at Cowan Fields.

Discussions were held during their meeting last Thursday night.

Mayor Trevor Birtch says the costs to refurbish and maintain the Civic Centre are pretty high.

"Staff, in their plan, looked at having a new arena where it could also be twins so as mandate increases we could expand to have a second pad."

Staff's report says the facility is entering the end of its life cycle with items like equipment to make ice, boards and glass, lights and washrooms and over the past ten years has seen repairs, both regular and emergency, needed to maintain ice making operations.

He adds the discussions encouraged staff to start coming up with a plan for a new arena.

Mayor Birtch says it'd provide kids another place to play.

"One of the things here in the Friendly City, we see one of the largest percentage of young ladies playing hockey compared to other communities, the Kittens and the Woodstock Wildcats, the teams that are expanding and just phenomenal. And, of course all of the junior minor hockey with the Junior Vets and everything else. And it's not just about the children involved and learning the sport and having an active lifestyle, it's also about the opportunities for volunteers, the coaches and everyone else that gives back. That's what makes it such a great community asset to have these sports facilities."

Staff's report says they've also been directed to include this project in the five year Capital Budget.

He adds if a new arena were approved in the capital budget process, it could be a number of years away before it's ready.

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