The discussions continue about procuring funds to build a new arena in Vernon for all to use. A new arena would be another great asset for the city and area to be proud of.
The question is whether or not it is necessary and the best use of taxpayer’s money.
We have with the Civic, one of the historic arenas in Canada. This is the site of the very first artificial ice surface in the Interior.
To some, of course, old is a bad word. To me, the Civic speaks of the long history of our national and regional passion for ice sports. Civic has served us very well for a long time but does that mean we should throw it away?
A referendum will never consider a facility that has the ability to house the number of fans and participants that the old Civic Arena can.
Oh sure it has some limitations such as the low ceiling, uncomfortable seating and smaller ice surface but it does have some redeeming attributes as well.
We have made do with these shortcomings for some 80 years and could likely swallow our pride and live with it for another 50 if a fraction of the money proposed for a new facility was put into some needed renovations.
We could spend money on a new ice plant, rebuilding of the floor and maybe even install comfortable seating over top of some of the existing bleachers?
Bright white paint on the walls, floors and trusses would make for a very functional facility for many years to come.
Maybe we could rebrand it as the Heritage Civic Centre and show our pride in our ice sports history much as the City of Trail does.
Can we not cost out the necessary renovations and add the total amount needed to the ballot to provide a choice for the tax payers on referendum day?
With the money saved on demolition and burying the old girl in the landfill, as well as not building a brand new facility for now, there should be money to put towards building our long needed arts showcase downtown.
Jeff Moore, former minor hockey executive member, assistant coach