South Huron wrestles with future of arenas
EXETER, ONT. -- According to South Huron’s mayor, Exeter’s arena has seen better days.
“At this point now, there’s been no significant upgrades to the South Huron Recreation Centre since 1977, other than a new refrigeration system for the ice surface,” says mayor George Finch.
“It’s an old, tired building, however it can be renovated, so that’s what we’re looking at right now, is to upgrade the facilities at the arena itself, and potentially add a gymnasium and walking track,” says Finch.
It’s really the only option left. Last month, the municipality was turned down for federal and provincial funding for a brand new $25 million new complex, featuring an ice pad, gymnasium, and walking track. Now, they’ll have to go it alone, says Finch.
“This is something we’d have to do ourselves at this point. Now, if people wanted to donate, big companies, certainly that would help ensure we have affordable recreation for everyone,” says Finch.
It looked like Exeter’s proposed refurbished facility, may come at the price of Huron Park’s arena. But, council has stepped backed from a planned closure of the Stephen Township Arena, that needs over $2 million in renovations.
“It’s staying open at this point. There’s no reason to close it, at this time, so it will stay open,” says Finch.
As far Exeter’s “refurbished” arena plan. It’s fate is expected to be decided at South Huron council on Monday. If approved, Finch expects a concrete plan in two to three months time.
“We need to move on it. I have full confidence that this council, will do something about it,” says Finch.