Leon Benoit, Member of Parliament for Vegreville-Wainwright made the announcement on Friday, November 9 that the arena reconstruction project would be the recipient of a $37,892 grant, provided through the Community Infrastructure Improvement Fund. The 64 year old arena collapsed in January 2011 after a heavy snowfall, ironically mere weeks after the village decided not to enhance the arena’s insurance coverage.
“I am proud to see the Village of Alliance benefit,” said Benoit. “This investment will create jobs and growth, and will support the prosperity of the community for years to come.
Soon after the collapse, a committee was formed to rebuild the arena using insurance money, funds from community donors and government grants.
“When we decided to rebuild it, our taxpayers stated that they didn’t want our taxes to go up,” said Laura Tower, CAO for the Village of Alliance.
Construction on the project moved swiftly, with land prep beginning that spring. A year to the day since the collapse, the arena’s icemaker strapped on his skates and performed a few practice laps around the rink.
While the arena itself is more or less finished and has hosted several events, the project is not yet complete. This grant ensure completion of several key areas which need attention before the multiplex project is deemed ‘done.’
The as-of-yet unfinished concession area, which will be an important revenue stream for the facility, will feature a full kitchen and exterior doors which will allow catering of outdoor events.
The grant will also be used to complete the facility’s flooring, bleachers, landscaping and sidewalks — according to Tower, the money will be used for “finishing touches.”
The facility’s grand opening is scheduled for January 31.