Pucks will soon start sliding and figure skaters will soon start gliding on ice at the Paul J. Yakabuski Community Centre again.
The Township of Madawaska Valley has announced plans for a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the rink for Sunday, Nov. 20. The event will run from 12 noon to 3 p.m. and feature a figure skating demonstration, a Timbits hockey game and a free public skate.
Infrastructure for the aging skating rink needed to be replaced this year – and the township tore up the surface in the spring. Normally, skating programs start in October, but they’ve been pushed back this year, so construction crews can complete the work.
Township Recreation Co-ordinator Hannah Gutoskie said the project’s going well and the rink may in fact re-open a few days before the ribbon-cutting ceremony.
She said the Township had no choice but to undergo a long construction project, as the ice pad was about 40 years old and breaking down.
New cooling pipes were added and new concrete was poured over the summer. Now, new boards are going up.
Gutoskie said the new floor will likely allow the ice surface to operate for another 40 or so years. The Yakabuski Centre is home to Barry’s Bay Minor Hockey Association teams and the Barry’s Bay and Area Skating Club. Those users would normally be on the ice by now, but are either travelling to other nearby rinks, or waiting for the ice pad to re-open.