If everything goes according to plan, the ice at the Don Lough Arena as well as the pool at the Canada Summit Centre will reopen in mid-September with the resumption of programming to be gradually phased-in.
For the arena, staff will first work on putting a reopening plan in place to get the major stakeholder groups back on the ice.
“We do have plans to reopen to the public, it’s just going to be by appointment only,” explained Amanda Hill, coordinator of customer service for the Town’s Community Services Department, at Huntsville council’s August 24 meeting.
“Community service staff are working with arena user groups and other municipalities on safely reopening the arena. The strategic phased approach will allow for other areas of the building to reopen,” she added.
According to Hill’s report on the matter, the financial burden of reopening the Canada Summit Centre would be borne by both the arena and the pool if both facilities were opened in conjunction.
“The overall net financial cost (incremental to the Q2 forecast) of opening the Don Lough arena is $153,788,” notes the report. “These costs reflect the entire burden of opening the Canada Summit Centre (CSC) to the public, however, if Council decides to open the pool as well, these costs will be split between the pool and the arena. If both the pool and the arena are opened, the net incremental financial cost of the Don Lough arena would be reduced to $80,300. The more programs we initiate to open, the more diluted these CSC opening costs become, the more customers we can serve (ice pad, floor pad, pool etc.).”
The report also considers the options and costs should a second wave of COVID-19 hit.
“The cost to keep the ice in if we had to shut down the facility is $3,400 per day/$35,107 per month,” it states. “If there was a declared shut down for unknown amount of time the cost to remove the ice is $6,000. The cost to install the ice per rink is $18,000 – $20,000 which includes utilities, contractors, paint and labour costs.”
Those entering the building will be required to wear masks at all times, except when on the ice or in the pool. Those entering the building will be screened and the numbers limited to 50 in any program area, such as the pool, according to staff
Teams from outside of Huntsville will only be allowed to travel from within this health unit, according to Hill.
As for public skating, Hill said: “We have the ability to do drop-in programs through a pre-registration program. You can register online for the program so we know exactly who’s in the building and we have contact information at any time.”
The same goes for the pool. Staff will work with user groups, public health agencies, and other municipalities in coming up with best practices in order to take proper safety precautions and boost user confidence.
At present, a limit of 50 people can be present in the pool area at any one time and a limit of six to seven people will be allowed in the change room, according to a report by Morven Barnes, Town aquatics manager.
“Drop-in Programs will be done by registration only and will have limited capacity. For all programs, the facility will be ‘by appointment only’. The Canada Summit Centre will remain closed to all other traffic during this phased in approach to adhere to the 50 people per area/program. General and public access will not be permitted at the Canada Summit Centre and Active Living Centre in the first phase of the gradual opening. Community Service staff are proposing the above be the first step in a strategic, gradual and safe reopening of our facilities,” notes Barnes’ report.
Many councillors welcomed the news and said they had been approached by constituents wondering when recreational facilities would be reopened.
Staff is expected to return to council with more details, as per a request by Councillor Tim Withey.
Don’t miss out on Doppler!
Sign up here to receive our email digest with links to our most recent stories.
Local news in your inbox three times per week!