Fredericton's York Arena to close for season for repairs

Fredericton rink users will be scrambling to get ice time after city council authorized closing York Arena for the season for repairs.

Building needs significant structural upgrades to address safety concerns, city says

Fredericton's York Arena will be closed during the 2014-15 season to allow for necessary repairs.

City council authorized shutting down the northside facility on Monday.

Deputy Mayor Eric Megarity says the closure will mean some sacrifices for rink users, with only five remaining ice surfaces in the city.

Some people may not be able to get ice time for three weeks at a time, or may have to travel to rinks outside the city, he said.

Still, announcing the closure now should help with scheduling, city officials said.

And it will all pay off, "knowing that next year they're going to have a much better operation going into the future," said Megarity.

Earlier this month, council had voted to keep the arena open for the season.

We can't put people in there knowing that maybe the roof is not as safe as it should be.- Deputy Mayor Eric Megarity

But Megarity says council later realized it would have to close.

"At the time, we didn't know what these types of repairs are going to do to the building," he said.

"They're going to have to come in there and you can't leave it run. We can't put people in there knowing that maybe the roof is not as safe as it should be."

The 67-year-old building needs significant structural repairs, including the roof, to address safety concerns, officials have said.

The work is expected to take up to 13 months to complete. The rink will return to full operation once the work is done.

Options as to how the city will cover the cost of repairs and ongoing operating costs will be presented to council as part of the 2015 budget process.

It is estimated the roof and other structural repairs will cost $1.23 million, with another $823,000 needed to replace equipment at the end of its life and other costs.

An estimated $994,000 will be needed for upgrades over the next 10 years.

York Arena is the city's oldest rink still in operation.

Even though the arena will be closed to the public this winter, safety concerns will be ongoing, city officials said.

Snow will have to be shovelled off the aging roof trusses, for example, to keep the building from collapsing.


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