Things are cooking at new Scott Seaman Rink
Foothills: Fundraising focused on building community kitchen
By: John Barlow
| Posted: Thursday, May 22, 2014 11:28 am
Children giggle in the play room, a group of adults finds serenity in the multi-purpose room, which has been transformed into a yoga studio, and dozens of young hockey players zip around on the ice making it clear the new Scott Seaman Sports Rink has been a welcome addition to the foothills community.
Although there are already more than 3,000 users per week at the arena and community centre, which opened in November 2013, there is still work to do to ensure the facility is fully utilized.
The Dunbow Recreation Association has been tasked with fundraising $2.6 million to help outfit the arena complex and thus far the dedicated community group has collected more than $1.3 million to ensure the facility can be used by residents in the area.
Now, the fundraising effort is focusing on making sure things can really start cooking at the arena.
“We are looking for more money as there are some elements to the facility that were not critical in our opinion,” said fundraising co-ordinator Marica Law. “Now we want to go ahead with some new critical pieces such as the commercial kitchen, which we hope will be open by Sept. 1.”
For the fundraising committee the next two priorities are building the kitchen on the main floor of the arena and paving the parking lot, which is still a gravel surface.
Law said the kitchen will be a major expense as it will include plumbing, electrical, gas, commercial kitchen equipment, seating and an eating counter along the wall so patrons can watch the action on the ice.
“We want this done in time for the next hockey season because this is the next thing the community needs,” explained Law.
Law and arena manager Sean Murphy said they are currently developing a budget for the construction of the kitchen, but it is estimated it will cost more than $300,000. Once complete, the kitchen will be leased to a third party to manage and operate the concession.
The kitchen will not only be used for the hockey season. It is expected the local schools will access it for cooking classes and it will be available for community events.
The next priority will be paving the parking lot because Murphy said it is causing some issues with the ice surface as mud and stones are being brought into the arena due to the muddy conditions in the parking lot. The paved lot will ensure the ice remains in top notch condition.
Murphy said the ice surface is among the best around and most importantly it is being well used by minor and recreational hockey, figure skating, local schools and the community.
“Since we opened in November everything has been well attended,” said Murphy. “We are getting 40 people out for public skating which is great. We are getting about 3,000 users per week in the arena and 90 per cent of them are youth and children.
“People of all ages are using the arena, which shows it is truly a community facility.”
The ice time at the arena has been fully booked since day one and that is unlikely to change especially once the new Catholic school is built adjacent to the arena, which already has Heritage Heights School right next door.
However, what is most impressive is the amount the complex is used by other community groups including out-of-school child care programs, birthday parties, community gatherings and the running track has also proven to be popular with more than 20 users per day.
“We are still felling our way, but this has been a great learning experience,” said Law. “The best thing is families are coming in to use the facility and enjoy good quality family time.”
In order for the fundraising committee to meet their new priorities they are still asking for community and corporate support.
The Dunbow Recreation Association has several fundraising initiatives available including the Buy a Brick and Buy a Seat programs, which are $125 and come with a $100 tax receipt. Also, there is the prestigious K-Club which is limited to 100 people or businesses who contribute $1,000 (comes with $1,000 tax receipt) and they receive special commemoration on the donor wall.
In addition, there are other major sponsorship available including the Zamboni, logos on the ice, rink boards and so on. For more information call 931-1905 or visit www.dunbowrecreation.org