Town of Blackfalds to explore rink twinning options

By Josh Hall (Twitter: @Vancan19)
March 2, 2017 - 2:11pm Updated: March 3, 2017 - 9:44am

It's an exciting time for a group in Blackfalds that is raising funds for a second ice surface at the town's exisiting arena.

Blackfalds town council has approved the spending of up to $10,000 for renderings of what twin rinks at the Multiplex might look like. The hope is for the renderings to help with community fundraising efforts and to see which amenities could be included in an expansion of the facility.

"We're going to take a look at all the options and amenities we can put into that facility. We're pretty exctied to start the renderings in the next month," says Sean Barnes, Director of Community Services.

Barnes says long range capital planning has 2021 set as the completion date for an additional indoor rink, at a cost of approximately $12 million.

"We just finished building our Abbey Centre in 2014 and now building this facility, which will be used by our and the surrounding community. To know it will be built in the next four or five years is extremely exciting to the community."

The Dual Ice Development Society (DIDS), Barnes feels, deserves a large amount of the credit for really pushing this issue to the forefront.

"It's something that we like to see, external help in regard to building these facilities. DIDS came along and started with a fundraising goal of $1 million," he said. "We're rocking and rolling again in the communty to get some stuff done."

DIDS President Tabitha Astalos says they've hit the ground running with a series of fundraisers, including hosting a pancake breakfast at last month's Winterfest event.

"We were advised to plan for about 200 people and we actually ended up having about 450 people through the door," she said. "It's super exciting that they're [Town] on board and support us."

DIDS raised about $1,200 through the pancake breakfast, as well as $1,700 from a pub and hockey night event in January, and $600 from the Winterfest Penguin Dip. They also received a $5,000 contribution from this year's 13th annual Cody Dennis Memorial hockey game.

Astalos says DIDS made a presentation to council this week so councillors could put faces to the name of the group they'd been hearing about.

The society is planning their next fundraiser for sometime in April.

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