Grants are being sought for improvements to Pat Duke Memorial Arena. (photo submitted)

Lumby arena money sought

Big dreams could mean big bucks.

The White Valley Parks, Recreation and Culture Advisory Committee and the Village of Lumby will apply for up to $4 million in federal funding for Pat Duke Memorial Arena upgrades.

“The community is very supportive of doing something and the the more we can acquire from grants, the better,” said Rick Fairbairn, chairperson.

If the grant is successful, there would be six change rooms, including four accessible, an improved entry, a warm viewing area, a sprinkler system, building insulation for energy efficiency and a new ice slab. If the ice slab, insulation and sprinklers are removed, the cost drops down to $2.4 million.

WVPRCAC is confident the grant will move ahead.

“The project has to be regional in significance and that’s not difficult to argue,” said Tannis Nelson, community services manager.

“There are Lumby area users and Vernon players are coming in to use the ice.”

If the grant isn’t successful, the backup plan could cost from $750,000 to $1 million if insulation and sprinklers are included. The basic $750,000 option features a new standalone change room, an additional change room through the division of an existing room (for a total of six), an enhanced lobby, a warming area and change room upgrades.

Director Randal Ostafichuk would like to see six change rooms developed in the arena.

“Six allows for tournaments, which we have a lot of, to move more smoothly,” he said.

There are presently four change rooms while a former closet is used by female hockey players.

Residents were recently asked what improvements they would like to see at the 1967 arena.

There is currently about $180,000 available for upgrades, including the $100,000 Lumby received from winning the Kraft Hockeyville title.