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Overhaul of 70-year old rink begins in Trail arena

The Kids Rink was built in 1953
Construction is underway in the Kids Rink.

An extensive renovation in the Trail Memorial Centre is now underway, and it’s visible from the outside.

Last week, a strip of the back parking lot was dug up and fenced in. Over the next few weeks, excavation will begin inside. New construction is slated to start in late July with the pouring of new concrete expected to happen in early September.

It’s all part of revamping the small rink, or Kids Rink, built in 1953 and dedicated to “Canada’s greatest resource … our children.”

“As part of the Kids Rink revitalization project, we are moving the players benches to the opposite side of the ice,” the city’s Robert Baker told the Trail Times. “This means players and coaches won’t have to walk past the slippery ice resurfacer gate to get to the player’s benches. They’ll be able to walk straight up the ramp and onto the ice or into the players benches.”

In order to move the players benches, the north wall needs to be reinforced.

“That’s why the parking lot is dug up right now,” Baker explained. “Once the new retaining wall is complete, the contractor can demolish the existing boards and ice floor.”

He says the crew is working as fast as they can so that the ice is ready for the start of the season.

“I think the community is going to be really impressed with the new rink,” Baker added. “I’m looking forward to seeing everyone’s faces in October.”

In January of this year, the city shared news that the Murphy Family Foundation’s contribution of $703,800 USD (approximately $945,000 CDN) would be invested in Kids Rink infrastructure improvements.

The project includes replacing the refrigerated floor to help maintain the ice during the warmer months, new arena boards, and access to the McIntyre Room for viewing.

Also, as part of the project, the skate rental shop is undergoing a renovation, including new skates, racks, flooring, and façade.

The city has seen a number of projects benefit from the foundation since founders Rich and Annie Murphy bought the Trail Smoke Eaters BCHL team in 2016.

“When we think about the updates to the Kids Rink, all we can visualize is a great expanse of possibilities and opportunities that a facility of this caliber can offer the Greater Trail area,” the foundation said in the January donation announcement. “We are committed as a foundation to this project, and we cannot wait to see how the community will utilize this updated facility.”

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Sheri Regnier

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