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Demolition set to begin at Chelmsford Arena

By: Darren MacDonald - Sudbury Northern Life

 | May 03, 2014 - 3:58 PM |
The renovated Chelmsford Arena will have an expanded dressing room to accommodate female hockey players. The rink should be complete by September 2015. File photo.

The renovated Chelmsford Arena will have an expanded dressing room to accommodate female hockey players. The rink should be complete by September 2015. File photo.

Users sent to Jim Coady until work is complete next year

The $2.335-million renovation of the Chelmsford Arena will enter an important phase Monday, when the actual demolition of the building will begin. Renovations included an expanded dressing room female hockey players, lighting retrofits and a complete replacement of the wooden benches.

“We anticipate that will take a few months, said Real Carre, the city's director of leisure services, at Tuesday's city council meeting. “We're currently finalizing the detailed drawings with the architect. And we should be going to tender for phase 2, which will be construction immediately following the demolition.”


 In past, arena renovations when the rink is closed, users have been given time at other rinks across the city. This time, however, they're being sent to the Jim Coady Memorial Arena in Levack. And not everyone is finding it to be a smooth transition, Carre said.

“The vast majority are in fact being accommodated in Jim Coady and, of course, they're finding it somewhat challenging,” he said. “However, we're trying to be as fair as we possibly could.”

There was some talk of closing the arena in Levack in January, when it was presented as an option in a report looking at the state of all Sudbury's rinks. It has the lowest usage in the city, and the report said closing Coady and building a two-pad arena in Chelmsford could be a better option.

However, residents in that community organized opposition and are working to find ways to shift more users to Levack, such as offering discounted rates. Ward 3 Coun. Claude Berthiaume said at the time that a second ice pad in the community would have been welcome, but not at the price of closing Coady.

“It would have been great, but not to the detriment of the other (rink),” he said. “All the arenas are quite important to their communities.”

He also praised the fact renovations in Chelmsford will expand dressing room facilities for female hockey players.

“It's important to them because more girls are playing hockey now than ever before,” Berthiaume said.

The dressing room is one of the reasons why costs for the renovation have increased by about $1 million compared to an initial estimate. Lighting retrofits and the need to fully replace the wooden benches at Chelmsford also increased the final pricetag.

The rebuilt Chelmsford Arena is expected to reopen in September 2015.
Darren MacDonald

Darren MacDonald

Staff Writer

@Darrenmacd

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