Construction is underway as the only arena in Oliver, B.C., undergoes needed updates.

The Town of Oliver and the regional district say $3.844 million will be spent on upgrading the Oliver and District Arena, which was built in 1968 and has been in constant use since then.

“We are grateful that this project is now underway,” Oliver Mayor Martin Johansen said, “as its completion will ensure the Oliver and District Arena will remain a fixture in our community and continue to serve the residents of the Oliver area for decades to come.”

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According to the regional district, many of the rink’s components have reached the end of their lifespans.

“I’m pleased that the project is getting underway,” Electoral Area C director Rick Knodel said of the construction, which began this week. “This is a very important part of our parks and recreation infrastructure.”

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Of the $3.844 million, $2.306 million is federal funding. The remaining $1.538 million will come from operational funds, reserves and borrowing.

The regional district says the project will include:

  • replacing the ice slab
  • replacing the dasher boards
  • installing an energy recovery system
  • upgrading the refrigeration system
  • renovating the dressing rooms
  • renovating the washrooms
  • renovating the kitchen

The arena will not be available for public use during construction. The majority of work is expected to be completed by early fall.

“Many important memories are located in that hockey rink and many future memories will be created there,” Osoyoos Indian Band Chief Clarence Louie said.

“We look forward to the arena construction project as that rink and the game of hockey, figure skating, and public skating bring our people, especially the kids, closer together.”