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Grand reopening of Russ Robertson arena

The Russ Robertson Arena has officially fully reopened to the public.

The facility has been under renovation since shortly after City Council approved the budget for the the arena expansion project at 1.4 million dollars, which Director of Community Services with the city, Don Stang, says was a dollar mark they stayed true to. He also the arena patrons were really good about the adjustments needing to be made in order to keep the facility opened during construction.

“Bexson Construction supported us. They put up some temporary walls to delineate the construction site from the public area. We had temporary access on the west side. We had to bring in some porta-potties to accommodate washroom facilities, but the users were appreciative of those efforts we made to keep the facility open.”

The facility has been partially open since Fall of last year in order to accommodate need for the ice time, but as construction is finally finished, the arena is officially fully reopened, which was celebrated with a ribbon-cutting and tours of the upgrades areas, and refreshments in the afternoon on Monday, January 18th.

The arena was upgraded in several ways, one of which was the addition of a female change room. Stang says it was becoming a bigger and bigger necessity for the center leading up to the renovations.

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“I believe we had small, little areas for girls to go and change in if they needed to but what we’ve added here is quite significant. We see an increase in female hockey players joining our male teams and we wanted to provide them a private area where they can go and get ready…we’d seen a need and thought it’d be beneficial to the user groups here.”

Of those in attendance, Mayor Rob Saunders paid a visit to the refreshed facility for the ribbon-cutting.

The Russ Robertson Arena was built in 1976 and the upgrades it received expansions to all 4 dressing rooms and improvements to the lobby area and facade. Stang says the improvements that were made may ensure another 40 years of use for the facility.

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