When it comes to the Civic Arena, it’s more than just a place where teams won and lost. The ice, the scuffed-up glass, the wooden bleachers, the stuffy dressing rooms are home to memories of countless kids, families and visitors. It’s where athletes were built and friendships were made.
So considering the personal attachment so many have to the facility, it’s not easy to swallow the fact that this could be the Civic’s last season (depending of course on all the logistics).
But while there is a strong connection to the facility, that same strength ceases to exist within the structure.
Fact is, it’s falling apart.
The powers that be have tried to see if renovations could restore the facility back up to par. But it seems they would just be throwing good money after bad. It is 78-years-old after all.
It would likely cost more to save the building than it would be to build a whole new arena.
Considering that, it only makes sense (and cents) to get a new sheet of ice for players – whether that’s by twinning Kal Tire Place or Pleasant Valley, or a whole new arena.
And when it comes to taxpayers dollars, both staff and elected officials know they need to make careful decisions. Which is why they are examining the options before possibly adding another referendum question to the list.
Greater Vernon just agreed last year to borrow $7.5 million for a sports facility at Okanagan College and this November they will be asked to borrow $70 million for the master water plan (for upgrades that may be forced anyway). Taxpayers are feeling pretty tapped out already, so costs need to be trimmed back as much as possible.
Restoring the old arena just isn’t viable, so although it will be sad to say goodbye to it, the memories will always be with us.