Parskville Curling Club volunteers (left to right Maurice Creigh, Nick Atamanchuk, Stan Siewiertoka and club treasurer Ross Renwick help complete some of the repairs being done to the building this summer. — Michael Briones photo

Parskville Curling Club volunteers (left to right Maurice Creigh, Nick Atamanchuk, Stan Siewiertoka and club treasurer Ross Renwick help complete some of the repairs being done to the building this summer. — Michael Briones photo

Parksville club makes major repairs to curling rink

Group invests around $70,000 on capital projects to make building efficient and safe

Th Parksville curling rink is open for business and it’s here to stay. That’s the message the Parksville Curling Club wants the public to be aware of amid all reports about the future of the building, also known as District 69 Arena.

The Regional District of Nanaimo board has approved around $1 million for the eventual demolition of the building and remediation of the land when the City of Parksville relocates the arena outside of the Community Park in Parksville.

The curling club executive committee indicated, they were told by the city and the RDN, that they won’t be moved out of the building until they have some place for them to go. That has given the organization confidence about their status in the building and went on to complete some major capital projects.

The curling club has just renewed its lease for another five years last March. The group wants to continue to capitalize on the facility’s asset. To make sure the rink’s infrastructure is in good condition, the club has invested more than $70,000 in repairs this summer to make the building safer, cost efficient, and make the environment more enjoyable to all its members as well as to visiting players.

The work that has been done included Brine leak repairs ($5,000), dishwasher repairs including installing a water softener to prevent problems in the future ($7,000), walkway repairs and new carpet on both ends ($9,000), replacing lights with LED lights ($32,000) and replacing the rented de-ionization water system with a reverse osmosis water system ($20,000).

Club treasurer Ross Renwick said the main reason they’ve undertaken these projects this year is because they want to make sure they have at least five years to be able to recoup the money they’re investing.

From both work done to the lighting and the water, Renwick said, they are expecting savings of about $13,000 a year.

“The savings we will have we can put that back towards putting money aside to change our roof because in the long run that is a major expenditure that we will be facing,” said Renwick.

Renwick said they will need to raise between $400,000 to $450,000 to replace the roof which he pointed out may provide them another 50 years out of the building.

“This is a very good building for curling,” said Renwick. “It’s one of the few buildings that we have in Canada that has arena ice. Curl BC always likes to come here for events. Our preference is, we would like to stay in this building. That’s why we are doing this to try make it an economic rationale to stay in this building.”

The club is also saving on labour as most of the work was completed through volunteers in the club, with the exception of the electrical and plumbing projects. Last year, Renwick said, volunteers saved the club around $170,000.

“That’s the heart of the club, the volunteers,” said Renwich. “They do a lot of work for us.”

The club has 739 members with close to 500, who are actively curling. It continues to grow, said club president Penny Shantz as there is a constant demand for new leagues to be added. However, they are unable to accommodate them.

“You can’t find practice ice here because all our leagues are full — daytime and evening,” said Shantz, who is an elite curler and Olympic gold medalist.

They’re looking for ways to accommodate new members. Last year they 79 new curlers at the club, which was “one of the biggest increase in BC,” said Shantz.

The club, which plays curling 8-months in year, also plans to rent out the facility during the off-season.

“We are going to try and pursue some bigger events in partnership with the RDN and the community here after we’ve done the upgrades here,” said Renwick.