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Monday, March 25, 2019

Future Of Goderich's Memorial Arena In The Air

Goderich | by Peter Jackson  

Staff report expected on arena in coming weeks, but one councillor says other uses are possible.

A staff report is due to go before Goderich Council in the coming weeks, as a question mark continues to hang over the future of Memorial Arena.

The facility's ammonia-based refrigeration plant was deactivated last year, after an engineer's report found condition issues in the pipes that carry the chemical.

27-hundred pounds of ammonia was removed from Memorial in late 2018.

The action was prompted by the ammonia-related deaths of several arena workers in British Columbia a year ago.

Councillor Trevor Bazinet says the 70 year-old building's days as an arena are likely past, but he would like to see it used for another purpose. 

He says several private business owners have asked him if Memorial eventually might go up for sale.

Bazinet notes that the venue's location next door to the refurbished Bannister Park, may help give the former arena a new lease on life as a recreation facility.

He says Memorial loses ratepayers $115 thousand a year, and would welcome anyone who wants to talk about buying the building.

Several options for the property were discussed at Council's recent budget meeting  including selling the building, or possibly demolishing it to provide added parking for Bannister Park.

For now, the single-pad Maitland Rec Centre is Goderich's only ice facility.

The loss of Memorial Arena as an ice venue has left local minor hockey programs looking for alternate venues for some of their games and tournaments.

The Junior C Goderich Flyers had to make up a postponed game at the Lucknow and District Sports Complex this past season -- the game was originally to have been played at MRC.

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